Ken Russell’s The Music Lover

The Music Lovers (L’altra faccia dell’amore in Italian) is a 1970 British film directed by Ken Russell, starring Glenda Jackson and Richard Chamberlain.The film  is based on Beloved Friend, a collection of personal correspondence edited by Catherine Drinker Bowen and Barbara von Meck on the  life and career of 19th century Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The film is without a proper dialogue . The story  is a sequence of  flashbacks, nightmares (incubi) , and fantasy sequences which follows while Tchaikovsky’s music is heard in the background. As a child, the composer sees his mother die horribly. She suffered from cholera and was  immersed in hot water as a cure for cholera; the scenes haunts (perseguitano) his life and his music.  His career is not easy till he finds Madame Nadezhda von Meck who, attracted from his music, becomes his patron.  He marries the nymphomaniacal Antonina Miliukova, but he soon discovers his homosexual  tendency when he falls in love with Count Anton Chiluvsky. His life is a sequence of events that bring him to a mental deterioration. His patron dies; he deliberately drinks water contaminated by cholera and dies as his mother died. It is one of Russell’s films about the lives of mental composers like Elgar (1962), Mahler (1974) and Lisztomania (1975).