The prime focus of both films is Tchaikovsky's lifelong preoccupation with the idea of fate as a controlling influence in our lives.
The first film features the women in his personal life (his mother, Alexandra, his governess Fanny Durbach and the Belgian singer Désirée Artôt) and the vulnerable young heroines in his early music: Katerina Kabanova in The Storm, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Francesca in Francesca da Rimini, Odette in Swan Lake and Tatyana in Evgeny Onegin.
There are no actors in these films, the story is told entirely through Tchaikovsky's music, Tchaikovsky's words and those of some of his closest acquaintances.
BBC Proms, 1981
First Part – The Early Years