This piece was the 48th published work of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and, as the name implies, it was only scored for a classical string section, (consisting of first violins, second violins, violas, cellos, and bases). The majority of the piece as well as the main theme is in the key of C Major, which possess no sharps or flats. It comprises four movements, the first and last movements being mostly in 2/4 time while the middle movements are in ¾ time. This means that in the first and last movements, most measures are two beats long and a quarter note serves as one beat which means that in the middle two movements, there are three beats per measure and the quarter note still serves as one beat.
The piece as a whole is best known for its dramatic first movement, which you can hear if you click the link at the bottom of the page. Tchaikovsky wrote this piece in 1880 and the piece is still known today as one that can be used to define the whole Romantic Period. While best known for being the first guest performer at Carnegie Hall and composing the music for the Nutcracker ballet, Tchaikovsky wrote a number of pieces that often are overlooked by first time listeners since they aren’t overly embellished like many baroque pieces. However, it is this relative simplicity that triggers such an emotional response to his work.
I had the pleasure of listening to this piece performed live and, throughout the performance, I could not hold back my emotion. While starting and finishing with the same run of notes he brings the piece full circle and somber but quick runs in the middle of each movement can’t help but lighten your heart. Thank you for reading and please comment.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsGRglp6tvs -Bass Clef