There were not many composers of standing, who worked equally hard on absolute and programme music. And of those composers, only a few were destined to achieve extraordinary results in both genres. One of them was Tchaikovsky. Probably his passion for reading stood him in good stead when inspired by high literature, after all, Tchaikovsky considered 'reading as ranking amongst the greatest moments of happiness'. In his programmatic works, he did not try to elaborate on a literary programme or the detailed portrayal of a plot, rather he was attracted to the psyche of the figures depicted, to the development of the characters, or, for instance, to the emotional impasses and whirlpools, into which they manoevred themselves or into which they were drawn.