17, 1966 (pg 1)
17, 1966 (pg 2)
Letter May 10, 1966 (pg 1)
Letter May 10, 1966 (pg 2)
webpage provides information about the André Tchaikowsky composition,
"Hamlet" music (1966). The music was used for a Hamlet production
given in Oxford in 1966, but there have been no other performances.
There was a recording used for the Hamlet production in Oxford, but
its whereabouts is unknown.
(left) show communications between Michael Menaugh (Hamlet) and André.
One interesting aspect is between April 17, 1966 and May 10, 1966, André
moved from 64 Wood Vale, London N.10, to 29 Waterlow Court, Heath Close,
London NW. 11. The Wood Vale address was that of André's personal
representative, Judy Arnold, and was in fact where André was
living, along with another homeless pianist, Alfred Brendel. The new
address on Waterlow Court was André own home, arranged for and
paid for by his friends, in particular, Charles Napper (The
letter of May 10 [Tuesday], 1966, page 2, André writes: "I
am now off to Paris (Hotel Nicolo, 3 rue Nicolo, Paris 16th) where I
may stay till Sunday, Monday or even Tuesday, depending on the luck
of the recording." The recording session André mentioned
was to be an all-Bach record for Columbia/Pathe (EMI) with the resulting
Italian Concerto, BWV 971
Recorded May 11 [Wednesday] and May 12 [Thursday], 1966
1. Without tempo indication | 2. Andante | 3. Presto
Overture in the French style, BWV 831
Recorded May 12 [Thursday] and May 13 [Friday], 1966
1. Ouverture | 2. Courante | 3. Gavotte I/II | 4. Passepied I/II
5. Sarabande | 6. Bourrée I/II | 7. Gique | 8. Echo.
came of the sessions and no record was released. By Saturday, May 14th,
André was back in London. To view all of André's unreleased
recordings, see: http://andretchaikowsky.com/recordings/index.htm.
the biography The
A bright spot in André's life was his deepening friendship with
Michael Menaugh. Michael was an intelligent and interesting person --
studying chemistry, yet deeply interested in and knowledgeable of theater
and music. He was good for André, the kind of friend that André
needed. In conversation, Michael Menaugh remembers events from this
friendship grew. It was always full of fascinating conversation. André
was full of ideas. We exchanged ideas about music and theater. By
the summer of 1966, my 21st birthday year, André and I were
sufficiently close for me to ask if he would compose the music for
my Oxford production of 'Hamlet' in which I also played Hamlet. He
agreed and he was fascinated by Hamlet. It was one of those plays
that he knew particularly well, and it obsessed him just as it obsessed
me. We had a big correspondence about the play. He came three days
before the performance and supervised the recording of the music.
He was a great help to me during a very tense time because it's no
easy matter to both direct and play Hamlet at the same time. Judy
Arnold, Zamira and Fou Ts'ong came down for the production and we
talked and talked afterwards.
went to London to see André. I remember sleeping on a camp
bed under the piano. It was bitterly cold. André, of course,
never kept early hours. I can remember waking up about 7:00 am with
the light coming in and waiting for André to appear at about
half past eleven. Then we went for one of what were to be many hundreds
of long, long walks together, right across the Hampstead Heath.
disliked it when people became too involved with him. When people
became too interested in him, it was as if they were going to somehow
devour him. He had to, at the same time, attract people. He needed
a reaction. He would attract people, use all his brilliance to attract
people, and then get very upset when they wouldn't go away. Then he
would try and shock people. It was extraordinary how suddenly then
he'd be more outrageous and try to shock people, which usually attracted
them all the more.
got tired of adulation. He got tired of people who just admired him.
The people that he really liked had their own lives, their own opinions.
They didn't feed off him. He liked people to feed off him to a certain
extent. He needed that for his own insecurity, but then it became
too much. He felt that people expected things of him. He either had
to be brilliant and witty or he had to give a wonderful performance,
or he had to produce the greatest composition. This became a terrible
pressure, which very often sort of paralyzed him. The most important
thing was to just let him be himself. If you did not expect something
from him, very often then he would give, he would be brilliant."
production was a success. Michael gave a brilliant performance, André's
music reinforced the drama, and it was a very satisfying artistic accomplishment.
of the music André composed for "Hamlet" are in the
hands of Michael Menaugh, who kindly provided the copies below. As shown,
there are four (4) sheets:
- Fanfare and Entrance of the Players (Act II; Scene II)
Sheet 2 - Entrance of the Players (Act II, Scene II) (continued)
Sheet 3 - Fortinbra's Army (at the bottom there is a note: "Col
Legno: Sticks only, beaten against each other" ...where col legno
is an instruction to strike the string with the stick of the bow, rather
than by drawing the hair of the bow across the strings. This results
in a quiet but eerie percussive sound.
Sheet 4 - Fortinbra's Army (continued).