Tchaikovsky's life was very tormented, which is reflected in most of his music, including these renditions of his famous Symphony No. 5 in E Minor, and one of his most played works, the 1812 Overture.
He captured the Russian spirit magnificently, and has been beloved by classical music fans since he first set pen to paper. His popularity grows with each passing year.
This is especially true of the 1812 overture, which celebrates the Russian Army's victory over Napoleon in 1812. This magnificent compositon, complete with the firing of real cannons during the grand finale, has become standard fare for 4th of July celebrations in America.