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Thread: Question about Tchaik Piano Concerto 1, 2nd Mvt

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    Default Question about Tchaik Piano Concerto 1, 2nd Mvt

    For your delectation and recollection:



    Now my question: is the main theme based on a children's song or something similar? I can't find any references to such a thing on the internet (i.e. Wikipedia), but every time I hear the part of the phrase from 0:20 to 0:25, I always hear the words "under the deep blue sky" in my head.

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    Senior Member Ravellian's Avatar
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    I always thought it was simply a variation of the introductory theme of the 1st movement, since they have such similar melodic contours.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravellian View Post
    I always thought it was simply a variation of the introductory theme of the 1st movement, since they have such similar melodic contours.
    Ah yes, so they do now that I actually bother to think about. Probably just a coincidence then.

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    Just to add something...I don't think this concerto is great...a bit trivial...I love his violin concerto, very difficult to play though.

    Martin

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    Senior Member Lukecash12's Avatar
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    Listening to that movement again, I think that an organ transcription of that movement would be amazing. Just take a look at the scores and tell me it wouldn't be genius if someone transcribed it for the organ: http://petrucci.mus.auth.gr/imglnks/....1_bb__2P_.pdf
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    Going through about a dozen old/semi-old LP liner notes and a bit of literature, none of those sources mention a folk music motif or any other external inspiration for the theme. Indeed, one writer states that it is a variation of the 1st movement´s introduction. Whereas they all agree that the fast section is based upon a French chansonette.
    Last edited by joen_cph; Sep-26-2011 at 13:44.
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    Quote Originally Posted by myaskovsky2002 View Post
    Just to add something...I don't think this concerto is great...a bit trivial...I love his violin concerto, very difficult to play though.

    Martin
    You are not the only person to have something harsh to say abput this PC. According to something I read in the back of an LP years ago, Nikolai Rubenstein called it "vulgar", though apparently Tchaikovsky (unlike Runbenstein) wasn't a great pianist and that may have affected the reception as he played it to him as a near-finished work at the Conservatory where they both worked. As Wikipedia puts it, "Rubinstein and Tchaikovsky had a well-known falling-out over the latter's First Piano Concerto, but Rubinstein later revised his position and became an ardent champion of the work. "
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    Quote Originally Posted by itywltmt View Post
    You are not the only person to have something harsh to say abput this PC. According to something I read in the back of an LP years ago, Nikolai Rubenstein called it "vulgar", though apparently Tchaikovsky (unlike Runbenstein) wasn't a great pianist and that may have affected the reception as he played it to him as a near-finished work at the Conservatory where they both worked. As Wikipedia puts it, "Rubinstein and Tchaikovsky had a well-known falling-out over the latter's First Piano Concerto, but Rubinstein later revised his position and became an ardent champion of the work. "
    I 'd use the same word: "vulgar"...

    Martin

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    Quote Originally Posted by myaskovsky2002 View Post
    I 'd use the same word: "vulgar"...
    What makes it "vulgar"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Polednice View Post
    What makes it "vulgar"?
    Maybe it's one of those "you had to be there" kind of things...

    I know we've exchanged barbs on this very subject not too long ago, but I suspect that it has to do with snobby aesthetics, as "vulgar" in its literal sense means "common", so Mr. Rubenstein probably meant that it was music that was intended for "common folk" and "inferior musicians" and not aligned with the "high brow" standards oif the day - those of the Mighty Handful, for instance.

    I have a soft spot for this PC, and in particular for the clip you chose to post (Van Cliburn's return engagement in Moscow, a few years after winning the Tchaikovsky competition). If I have (and still do) have reservations, it has to do with the "all out" first few bars of the First movement, then the concerto going into a very different - albeit pleasant - direction. When we sparred on this before, I was saying I thouht Rachmaninoff was a better piano and orchestra composer than Tchaikovsky, an issue we agreed to disagree on - you maintained Rach wrote (I can't recall your exact words, but I seem to think you meant) insignificant tunes, and that he was overrated.
    Last edited by itywltmt; Sep-26-2011 at 19:22.

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    I never got the whole beef with the piano concerto. While the violin concerto is quite good, I think the PC is better in almost every respect- certainly in terms of structure, cohesiveness, content and orchestration. It's not the greatest work in the genre, but it's one of Tchaikovsky's finest achievements- a cohesive work that doesn't sound too bloated (Serenade for Strings takes the cake as it doesn't sound bloated at all).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nix View Post
    I never got the whole beef with the piano concerto. While the violin concerto is quite good, I think the PC is better in almost every respect- certainly in terms of structure, cohesiveness, content and orchestration. It's not the greatest work in the genre, but it's one of Tchaikovsky's finest achievements- a cohesive work that doesn't sound too bloated (Serenade for Strings takes the cake as it doesn't sound bloated at all).
    I'm skating on thin ice here, and we're way off the OP, but...

    I thnk Tchaikovsky's second is a better concertro than his first. It has more "tunes", and is far less "bloated" (your words...). It also falls under rhe radar because of the notoriety of the First.

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    Quote Originally Posted by itywltmt View Post
    When we sparred on this before, I was saying I thouht Rachmaninoff was a better piano and orchestra composer than Tchaikovsky, an issue we agreed to disagree on - you maintained Rach wrote (I can't recall your exact words, but I seem to think you meant) insignificant tunes, and that he was overrated.
    Just to clarify my position on that, I think Rachmaninov/ff was as wonderful a 'melodist' as Tchaikovsky ever was, but I find his overall emotional effect to be much shallower.

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    (sorry deleted)
    Last edited by joen_cph; Sep-26-2011 at 20:49.

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    The only thing about the Tchai One I consider 'vulgar' is this lame performance of it (Cliburn, Polie? Really??)...while I know of two missed notes throughout my favorite performance, the intensity and command with which it is played from beginning to end far outweighs those tiny mistakes...I, of course, am speaking of:

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