b"Tchaikovskys title, Pateticheskaya simfoniyathe music with a strong sense of sadness and (),isroughlyhints of romantic despair . The vigorous march of equivalent to the title that Beethoven gave tothe Allegro molto vivace offsets the melancholy his Sonata in F minor, Op . 57'Apassionata .of the first two movements . This powerful, vigor-The passionate overtones of the Russian titleous music boldly proclaims itself with insouciant are not adequately conveyed in its better-knownswagger . Anguished cries from the strings begin French equivalentSymphonie pathtique,the Adagio lamentoso-Andante . This music suc-with its connotations of suffering and sorrow .cumbs to its own beautifully crafted fatalism, Biographer John Warrack agrees: The Russianladen with pain and lamentation . The strings are wordcarries more feeling of passionate orinterrupted by a blast from the brasses, after emotional in it than the English pathetic, andwhich the strings continue on their mournful way perhaps an overtone, which has largely vanishedto a subdued conclusion, in which there is no hint from our world of suffering . of a happy ending .As a closeted homosexual man living in aDespite Tchaikovskys status as the preemi-homophobic society, Tchaikovsky was well-ac- nent Russian composer of his time, the premiere quainted with suffering . He also battled cripplingof the Sixth Symphony, which he conducted, was bouts of depression throughout his life, whichnot an instant success . In a letter to his publisher, were exacerbated by relentless societal pressuresTchaikovsky wrote, It is very strange about this to keep his sexuality secret . Some years earlier,symphony . It was not exactly a failure, but it was in1877,TchaikovskyencounteredAntoninareceived with some hesitation . Symphonies that Ivanova Milyukova, a former Conservatory studentend quietly often leave audiences puzzled or obsessed with her one-time professor . She sentunsettled (Brahms Third has the same problem) . Tchaikovsky several impassioned letters, whichAfter the second performance, which took place alarmed the composer; eventually, Milyukovajust days after Tchaikovskys death, the Sixth threatened to kill herself if Tchaikovsky did notreceived an overwhelmingly positive ovation . The return her affection . This untenable situation,unconventional ending became, in the ears of combined with Tchaikovskys tortured feelingsaudiences and critics, indelibly associated with about his sexual orientation and his desire tothe composers deathas if Tchaikovsky had silence gossip about it, led to a hasty, ill-advisedwritten his own demise . There is no documentary union . Tchaikovsky fled from Milyukova a monthevidence to support this idea, but the romance after the wedding (their marriage officially endedof a composer writing his own musical epitaph after three months, although they were neverhas proved durable, if inaccurate . The Sixth divorced) . Tchaikovsky subsequently suffered aSymphony soon came to be regarded as a sym-nervous breakdown and was unable to work forphonic masterpiece and remains Tchaikovskys the next three years . most popular symphony . TheSixthSymphonysAdagio-Allegroma non-troppo begins with a forbidding bassoon 2022 Elizabeth Schwartzsolo sounding the primary theme . After the slowElizabeth Schwartz is a writer and music historian based in the Adagio, the strings burst in with an agitatedPortland area. She has been a program annotator for more than restatement of the bassoon solo, followed by a20 years, and works with music festivals and ensembles around the country. Schwartz has also contributed to NPRs Performance contrasting theme of melancholy nostalgia . TheToday, (now heard on American Public Media).movement descends into chaos as the themes are developed, ripped apart, and jumbled in a tempestNOTE: These program notes are for Santa Rosa Symphony patrons of sound . A solemn brass chorale with pizzicatoand other interested readers. Any other use is forbidden without specific permission from the author, who may be contacted at string accompaniment draws the movement to aclassicalmusicprogramnotes.com close . In the Allegro con grazia, the strings pres-ent a graceful waltz in the unusual meter 5/4 . Although the overall mood of this movement is lighter than that of the first, Tchaikovsky infuses 24Santa Rosa SymphonyRESIDENT ORCHESTRA|WEILL HALL, THE GREEN MUSIC CENTER"