The Music Lovers

1970, Movie, R, 122 mins

Review

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Don't bother seeing this; just buy a few albums of music by Tchaikovsky and let it go at that. THE MUSIC LOVERS is a spurious biography of a great composer that is so filled with wretched excesses that one hardly knows where to begin. It is the supposed love story between the homosexual Tchaikovsky (Richard Chamberlain) and nymphomaniac Nina Milyukova (Glenda Jackson), but all the attendant surrealistic touches director Ken Russell has added take this out of the realm of plausibility and into the depths of cheap gossip. Included in Russell's tale are Tchaikovsky's homosexual relationship with Count Anton Chiluvsky (Christopher Gable), which so threatens the wealthy Madame von Meck's (Izabella Telezynska) patronage of the composer that he marries Nina for appearance's sake, driving her to a suicide attempt, into prostitution, and eventually into an insane asylum. Still, this Russell family affair (his wife, Shirley, designed the costumes and four of their children, Alexander, Victoria, James, and Xavier, appear in small roles) does feature the exhilarating music of Tchaikovsky, played by the London Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Andre Previn. Musical selections include: "1812 Overture," "Romeo and Juliet," "Miniature March," "The Letter Song" (from "Eugene Onegin"), "Dance of the Clowns," "Scherzo Burlesque," "Swan Lake," "String Quartet No. 3," "Sixth Symphony," "Piano Concerto in B Flat Minor" (all by Tchaikovsky), and "Porgi Amor" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. leave a comment

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