The first quarantine symphony (actually Tchaikovsky’s 7th)

The first quarantine symphony (actually Tchaikovsky’s 7th)


norman lebrecht

December 19, 2020

Toccata Classics is releasing a seventh symphony by Alexander Tchaikovsky, nephew of Boris Tchaikovsky.

Composed during the Covid-19 pandemic, it is scored for a socially distanced orchestra of strings, percussion and piano – at which point, writes Tchaikovsky, ‘the virus then took revenge’, and he fell ill.

Toccata’s Martin Anderson writes: ‘Lots of classical pieces have been adapted for performance under socially distanced conditions, but this one is, as far as I’m aware, the first actually written to take account of the necessities of the pandemic.’



  • Greg Bottini says:

    As of October, 2019, Alexander Tchaikovsky has written four symphonies, and the 4th is the most recent symphony I have been able to find a reference to.
    If the work mentioned here is “ACTUALLY TCHAIKOVSKY’S 7TH”, as trumpeted, why hasn’t there been any information published about the alleged symphonies 5 and 6?
    Most of the online information about Alexander Tchaikovsky seems to originate from the website of the Mariinsky Theatre (Gergiev’s – read Putin’s – ensemble), which states, among other things, that he is “coming from a brilliant school of such luminaries of national musical art as Tikhon Khrennikov”.
    Draw your own conclusions.

    • John Borstlap says:


      It seems the soviet union is still lingering behind the facades.

      • Occamsrazor says:

        USSR was dismantled by 3 drunks signing a piece of paper. It can easily be put back together by 3 sober gentlemen. USSR is both a territory and an idea. Soviet version of communism was often hilarious and it is not a bad thing. Many people who have experienced both USSR and the West, are starting to prefer the hilarious Soviet communism to the presently humorless West with its helicopter money, the plague with 99.8% survival rate and the population that is both so enslaved and dumbed down that it makes the average Soviet people seem like the cowboys in the Wild West with the intelligence of Swedenborg.

        • Greg Bottini says:

          “Soviet version of communism was often hilarious and it is not a bad thing.”
          Tell that to the tens of millions of his own citizens who Stalin murdered in cold blood, you blithering idiot.

          • Occamsrazor says:

            I beg your pardon Greg, but what did Stalin do with the bodies of those he murdered in cold blood ( as opposed to the millions usually murdered in hot blood)? What about the millions murdered by Lenin and Trotsky? Any interest in them? God, I love me a keyboard commando in the morning.

          • Greg Bottini says:

            It’s nothing to joke about, Occam.
            I bet you’re a riot at funerals.

          • Occamsrazor says:

            “It’s nothing to joke about, Occam.
            I bet you’re a riot at funerals.” Do you think anything is funnier than Westerners discussing Russian history? They have been bullshitting themselves about all things Russian for centuries.Look at the Trump situation.It took only four years of nonstop bs and by now millions believe it. Russia by now has achieved supernatural status, it can murder 10s of millions of its own citizens, lose 27 million in ww2 at the same time and triple its population in 40 years.

    • Ana says:

      Whatever the conclusion is, Gergiev is still one of the greatest living conductors.

  • Occamsrazor says:

    “The great reset” oratorio has to be gestating in some composer right now…it won’t come out before the Ode to the Mask, the Ode to the Distancing and the Ode to the Safety and the Effectiveness of the Vaccine.

  • Esther Cavett says:

    That Thomas Ades piece done at Proms several months ago was written for the New Normal

  • Nina says:

    How great!
    Just watch how Russian virtuoso Anastasia Vedyakova plays Alexander’ Sonata for Violin solo (starts at 00:01:55)
    And then together with a brilliant Japanese pianist Kazuki Nishimon they perform Boris’ Sonata for Violin and Piano (beginning at 00:25:50)
    The first performer of this Sonata was Victor Pikaizen, Anastasia’s teacher.

  • Edgar Self says:

    Isn’t there a “Socially-Distanced Polka: by Josef Strauss?

  • Jerome Hoberman says:

    OZNO’s (James Boznos) “Social Distancing” was played by the Hong Kong Philharmonic in one of the few concerts it’s been able to give this this season. It had already been premiered – in a different version – earlier in the year, on video.

  • David K. Nelson says:

    From the headline I thought in some way someone was trying to wryly comment on and unearth Eugene Ormandy’s recording of (P.I.) Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No. 7.”