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Tempting Fate Podcast

Rolling the dice

Welcome to the Ether Game Weekly Podcast! This week, the Ether Game Brain Trust is dipping our toes into dangerous waters and looking at fate motifs, in a show we're calling "Tempting Fate"! See if you can guess this piece on our podcast selection. Remember to keep your ears out for a portion of Tuesday night's Teaser selection. And don't forget to tune into the full show on Tuesday, July 18th at 8:00pm for a chance to win a prize!

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893): FATUM ("FATE"), OP. 77

Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra; Leonard Slatkin, conductor. Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 / Fatum (RCA Victor)

Fatum or "Fate" was Tchaikovsky's early attempt at a tone poem. He was a 28-year old professor at the Moscow Conservatory, and had just written his first symphony and opera. When tried his hand at this new genre, Tchaikovsky said it was quote "the best thing I've written so far." Others, though, disagreed. It was dedicated to Russian composer Mily Balakirev, one of Tchaikovsky's mentors, but Balakirev gave him some harsh criticism. He said that it quote "seems to have been written in a very slapdash manner. The seams show, as does all your clumsy stitching. ... The whole thing is completely uncoordinated." Ouch. Tchaikovsky was devastated, and destroyed the work (Fate was later published posthumously). He did take Balakirev's advice to work on a second tone poem based on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. That work ended up being a triumph.

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