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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Everybody!:D

Im mainly a Tchaikovsky-fan, so I was wondering...What is your favorite Tchaikovsky piece of all time? You could just state a general piece..or we could get into details with subdivisions(piano works,chamber,orchestral, etc.):eek: . I look forward to your responses!:rolleyes:

4/4playerB)
 

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Serenade for Strings in C, Op. 48

The version I have is Richard Hickox, City of London Sinfonia. It was composed in 1880 when Tchaikovsky was 40, and was one of Tchaikovsky's favourite pieces written as a tribute to Mozart. It summarises Tchaikovsky down to a "t", containing high quality melody, pathos, beautiful orchestration. The opening melody (in the "andante") is truly gorgeous, and the shimmering cellos about half through, together with the way they are all brought together at the end, is perfection; the second movement "waltz" is one of the nicest in the repertoire; another beautiful melody appears in the third movement "elegie" with a skillfully crafted interplay of violins and cello and double basses, slowly dying away like watching the sun setting; the "finale" with a dream-like beginning, flowering into a more dynamic middle section, and rounding off with the same melody as that in the opening movement.

Topaz
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you Saturnus,Hexameron, and Topaz for your responses!=)

Hexameron,
I haven't listen to his S 6 "Pathetique" yet(Shame on me!)....though I have to make sure I buy a CD of that piece when I go last-minute Christmas shopping today!:D You have any recomendations for decent recordings for an affordable price?
Thanks!
4/4player
 

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My favourite works: In rough order, best first, are:

  1. Serenade in C for Strings, Op. 48
  2. Symphony No 6, Op. 74
  3. Swan Lake, Op. 20 (Waltz, Act 1)
  4. Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66 (Adagio Pas d'action)
  5. Nutcracker, Op. 71 (Dance of the Flowers)
  6. Romeo & Juliet Fantasy Overture
  7. Violin Concerto, Op. 35
  8. Piano Trio in A Min, Op. 50
  9. String Quartet No 3 in E Flat Min, Op. 30
  10. Piano Concerto in B Flat Min, Op. 23
  11. Marche Slave, Op. 31
  12. Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op 33
  13. Capriccio Italien, Op. 45
  14. 1812 Overture, Op. 49
  15. Francesca da Rimini, Op. 32

Topaz
 

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The Tchaikovsky piece I keep going back to is the Symphony No5, but I do not really know why. Apparently it was not one that Tchaikovsky rated very highly himself, although it was an immediate hit with the public.
 

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I will flip around Topaz's top 2 and list my 3 favourites as:

1. Symphony no. 6
2. Serenade for strings
3. Violin concerto

About the 3rd mvmt of the 6th Symphony
Purely as music, it is drivel. It is also creates concert disasters when played for "amateur" audiences, as there is almost always clapping at the end of it. But when one understands its programmatic significance, then one begins to appreciate its incredible genius.

In the first movement, Tchaikovsky exposes his soul, the soul of the artist. Much darkness and turmoil but also a great depth of feeling, humanity and beauty.

In the second movment, we find that artist in society. The well-to-do in Russia mixed and mingled at military balls. Tchaikovsky, being a little light on his toes, never felt quite at home amongst high society, but tried to fit in nonetheless and danced waltzes with the daughters of officers and noblemen... Hence the "crooked" waltz in 5/4 time.

And then the 3rd movement. You must understand, Tchaikovsky never came to terms with his homosexuality, he despised it and referred to it as a disease. He wanted to be rid of it, he above all else wanted to fit in. The 3rd movement is Tchaikovsky imagining himself fitting in with society, being able to loose himself in cheerful abandon, cast his problems aside and be truly happy...

... and if the audience would be so kind as not to applaud at the end of the 3rd movement ...

... the opening bars of the 4th mvmt should be performed attaca, immediately following the closing "victorious" chords of the 3rd mvmt.

This then signifies the dreadful coming-down-after-the-high, the hitting of rock-bottom. Tchaikovsky sees that in his momentary vision of joyful abandonment, he has lost sight of truth, lost sight of himself. The rediscovery of that truth can only mean one thing: Death.

--- --- ---

As a footnote: I have only performed this piece once, in the Municipal Hall in Prague 3 years ago with the Moravian Philharmonic Olomouc (www.mfo.cz) The concert was tremendous... but the rehearsal process was brutal. The piece is so incredibly depressing for everybody, and difficult at that. We lived with it for 3 days plus the performance day, and where all ready to jump off of a bridge by the end of it. But the incredible sense of (surprisingly) joy and relief that came with the final applause was one that I will never forget. I don't plan to do the piece again anytime soon, but when I do I will definately speak to the audience from the podium and explain to them what the seemingly happy 3rd mvmt really means... Hopefully then, no one will clap.
 

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Symphony 5 and 6, Hamlet and Romeo-Julet overtures. Of course you can always smile when the nutcracker popes up. Then Capricco Italien and Swan Lake are pices thad is must litsen. I know the ice skaters have got bored of the Swan Lake.
 

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It's not been long since I discovered Tchaikovsky, so I haven't heard much of him. But I must say his Symphonies nos.4 & 6 and the Piano Concerto are really beautiful.
 
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One I listened to last night, was the Manfred Symphony, Oslo P.O. Mariss Jansons, it is a very dramatic piece, with some beautiful melodies.
This was recorded in 1988, but was given a rosette award by Penguin Guide
Does this rate highly with any of you ??
 

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I'm not that keen on Manfred Symphony. It seems rather lack-lustre to me. Unlike many of Tchaikovsky's works, which I generally like, this piece is rather lacking in good melody. Not sure why. I must admit I haven't tried very hard. I wasn't very keen on a first listen. It improved on a second and third, but I haven't bothered with it much beyond that. Maybe I'll give it another go.
 
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Topaz, I respect your view on this piece, but IMHO it has some fine melodies, personal taste again eh,
I think programmatic Symphonies are never as nice as the sonata form Symphonies, [personal preference again?] I have great trouble with Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique I very rarely get much more than half way into the first mov, my friends think I am nuts lol.
 

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Topaz, I respect your view on this piece, but IMHO it has some fine melodies, personal taste again eh,
I think programmatic Symphonies are never as nice as the sonata form Symphonies, [personal preference again?] I have great trouble with Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique I very rarely get much more than half way into the first mov, my friends think I am nuts lol.
I'm with you,my friend. Can't stand Berlioz, nor the Symphonie, nor any other of his works.
They made my hysterical. But I certainly admire Liszt's piano transcriptions. Fantastic!!
 

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oisfetz, I would think Liszt's piano transcriptions would actually improve your reception of Berlioz. Liszt also transcribed the Les Francs-Juges and King Lear overture and the March des pelerins from the Harold en Italie to solo piano. I find the quality of music here astounding. I like them better than the Symphonie Fantastique. Liszt also transcribed the Harold en Italie to piano and viola duo and I think Liszt's touch enhances this composition.
 
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