Cinema: False Notes

The Love That Dared Not Speak Its Name is allowed to shriek and bluster in The Music Lovers. The lovers are Muscovite aesthetes and neurasthenics; the music is supplied by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, a doubly tragic figure. In 19th century Russia, where homosexuality was punishable by imprisonment, the composer sought to "cure" himself by marriage. Instead, he became party to an unconsummated charade. But his encounters with other men left him with ineradicable self-disgust.

Seventy-seven years have passed since Tchaikovsky's death. In this epoch of emancipated morality, it would be reasonable to expect that his life would be reviewed with fresh...

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