In the last five years of his life, Tchaikovsky, along with conductor Vladimir Fedoseyev and a number of other prominent musicians who had remained in Russia despite the inimical post-communist conditions, was among the leading voices in the Russian Musical Society (more literally, Comradeship), whose principles included preservation of the nation’s musical traditions, scepticism towards the avant-garde, and attachment to the Russian Orthodox Church. In most respects these values were sharply opposed to such groups as the revived Association for Contemporary Music, founded around the same time by Edison Denisov. During these years Tchaikovsky completed few compositions other than a fine Symphony with Harp. But his Prelude entitled The Bells
survives more or less complete in short score, with indications for bells on B flat and D. This delicate evocation has been orchestrated by Pyotr Klimov (born 1970), a talented composer in the Tchaikovsky circle.
from notes by David Fanning © 2004