Current timeTotal duration Video transcript "Symphony No. He was 37 years old, he was teaching at the Moscow Conservatory. He had just written Swan Lake, one of his great ballets. The First Piano Concerto, one of the greatest piano concertos.
Symphony No. 4
I mean, it was a fantastic time for him. At the same time, he married a young woman, who was in his class at the Moscow Conservatory. She was chasing him, she was in love him, she wrote him notes.
Eventually he decided that to stop all the rumors about his homosexuality, it would be great to marry her, and it would be a nice platonic relationship, and she would understand and everything would be great. Well, it didn't quite go that way. She didn't quite understand chuckles , and the marriage only lasted for nine weeks, and he supposedly had a nervous breakdown at the conclusion of that marriage, and the marriage was annulled, but at the same time another woman came into his life, Nadezhda von Meck.
Madame von Meck was a widow and quite wealthy. She was a great music lover, and a great lover of Tchaikovsky's music, and she decided to give him a monthly stipend. This lasted for 14 years. Tchaikovsky was able to quit teaching and devote himself to music, and then he wrote the Fourth Symphony and dedicated it to von Meck. The extraordinary thing is that the two of them never met. They only corresponded but because of that correspondence, of some letters, we really have a feeling for what Tchaikovsky was thinking at every moment. Even though this symphony is not a programatic symphony, if you read the letters, it does seem that way.
Free sheet music : Tchaikovsky, Piotr Ilitch - Op - Symphony No. 4 in F Minor (Orchestra)
Many people believe the first movement, which is the most difficult, the most complicated, the longest, was very programatic. Tchaikovsky, of course, like every composer, said no, it's a symphony on its own, you don't have to have a program to have a great symphony. That said, in his letters to von Meck, yes, it had a program and the program was basically that fate is always hanging over our shoulders. It's always there and fate isn't wonderful, it's reality. There are dreamlike moments in our lives, and glorious moments, but always looking over our shoulder we have fate, we call it a struggle with fate because this opening theme played by the horns, and then extended by the lower brass, then the upper brass, is that fate motive.
They get softer playing that same material.
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The extension of the fate motive is in the clarinet and bassoons. I think it's important that he makes that bridge orchestrationally from the brass to the woodwinds, to the first theme of the first movement, which is played by the violins and cello. This is the dream motive. It's beautiful, it's soft.
The six-movement Symphony II also combines different types of movement in an unusual way; it includes a Praeludium Circulare , which explores all the twelve keys, a "Salve Regina" based on the Gregorian antiphon of the same name, and a grand Toccata as the "Finale", an interesting precursor of the famous Toccata from the 5th Symphony.
The corrections which the composer made after the publication of the edition have also been taken into consideration.
As well as this, earlier editions have been consulted for comparison to clarify individual variant readings. Editorial suggestions on the performance of individual passages complete the new edition.
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