“What would I be if I did not believe in God and did not surrender to His will?”
The story of the impressions of the concert dedicated to the 170th anniversary of P.I. Tchaikovsky, which was performed by the Symphony No. 5 of the composer, I want to start with a small fragment that talks about the beauty of God’s creation: “Our eternal God! You did it all. Child! Look at these plants, so beautiful, these roses, these flowers of Veronica – they are so beautiful. A brilliant sun illuminates the whole world; this deity created him. Moon, stars illuminate our night. Without You bread could not grow, the waves of these beautiful waters … we would die without them. The seas, whose stretch is so great. Rivers surround them … God created them. Mighty God, They worship you! .. ”
How similar are these lines with the words of the pre-initial, 103rd, psalm, aren’t they? But to whom do they belong? And what do they have to do with the Dnepropetrovsk concert?
The most immediate. Their author is eight-year-old Petya Tchaikovsky. This poem, entitled “The Universe”, was written by the future composer in French in a notebook, which he filled in 1848. There are other verses here. Here are just a few of their titles: “The child addresses his guardian angel”, “The End of the World” … Nearby is a poetic arrangement of the history of the fall, a chant for Christmas, the prosaic meditation “Death”. I recall the words of the Savior: “Let the children come to Me …” (Mark 10: 14).
Petya Tchaikovsky was looking for God with his pure child soul. Later, as an adult, he tried to reflect this search, this path to God in his musical compositions.
The path is thorny, long, and it presents us part 1 of his Symphony No. 5. Or rather, not the whole path, but that part of the earthly path in which an attempt was made to overcome the fate. Two states – dominant rock and bright joy – are heard in music. How much this resonates with the mood of Tchaikovsky himself, prone to extreme emotional states! What won in his soul? Skepticism and doubt, fear of inevitable fatum or firm faith in the Providence of God and His strengthening right hand? The answer is in the music of the Russian genius.
Tchaikovsky wrote his Symphony No. 5 in 1888. Ten years separate it from Symphony No. 4. During this time, the author has experienced a lot; his views on life and religion have changed. He rushed about in search of moral principles, reflected on the measure of sinfulness of great artists in life. In the fall of 1887, he survived the passing away of two people close to him: a friend of N.D. Kondratiev and a sudden tragic death in the prime of life of niece T.L. Davydova. And the composer writes his will. And in the diary he writes down his thoughts on the creed, on the necessity and need to pray. Tchaikovsky’s thought revolves around the “eternal questions of being.”
Symphony No. 5 is about life and fate, the fatal forces that interfere with a person, and his eternal aspirations for light and joy. Is their achievement possible? For over 100 years, outstanding conductors have been trying to comprehend the secret meaning of the symphony. What happens in her finale? The victory of fatal forces over man or man over fate?
Each person has two principles involved in his reasoning about faith in God – reason and intuition, brain and soul. Tchaikovsky was no exception. Like many of his contemporaries, in adulthood, having lost his former childhood spontaneity, he was struck by the bacillus of disbelief, which immediately defeated most of the 19th-century Russian intelligentsia. In one of his letters to Nadezhda Filaretovna von Meck, who was the “guardian angel” of the composer for about 14 years, providing financial freedom for his work, Pyotr Ilyich writes: “We are sailing with you along the boundless sea of skepticism, looking for a marina and not finding it” . So, before the writing of Symphony No. 5, about 10 more years. The composer seeks answers to those questions that were clear in the early years. Is there a god? Is there everlasting life? And, contrary to the ruthless sentences of reason, the voice of the soul begins to sound.
“Regarding religion, my nature has split into two, and I still cannot find reconciliation. On the one hand, my mind stubbornly refuses to acknowledge the truth of the dogmatic side of both Orthodoxy and all other Christian confessions … On the other hand, upbringing, habit, and childhood poetic representations – all this makes me involuntarily turn to Christ and His teachings to Him with a prayer in grief and with thanks in happiness, ”- this is from the composer’s letter.
And one more thing: “As a result of all my reasoning, I came to the conclusion that there is no eternal life (?). But conviction is one thing, and feeling and instinct are another. Denying eternal life, I indignantly reject the monstrous thought that my mother … disappeared forever and that I would never have to tell her that after 23 years of separation, I still love her … ”
Love … Indeed, it is able to raise the human soul, even from hell. Love, which, according to the Apostle Paul, never disappears, again and again encourages Tchaikovsky to search for the Source of this love. In these searches, the author of the successful Symphony No. 4 and the opera Eugene Onegin, who did not find happiness.