Tchaikovsky intended the first movement to be an imitation of Mozart 's style, and it was based on the form of the classical sonatina , with a slow introduction. This introduction is restated at the end of the movement, and then reappears, transformed, in the coda of the fourth movement, tying the entire work together.
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On the second page of the score, Tchaikovsky wrote, "The larger number of players in the string orchestra , the more this shall be in accordance with the author's wishes. The Serenade was given a private performance at the Moscow Conservatory on 3 December List of compositions by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
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First performance: October 30, , St. Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings in C Major was written with an ear towards one of his idols, a certain 18th century composer by the name of Mozart. The title and structure of the piece are taken from the serenades of the latter, though this is certainly Tchaikovsky's own particularly 19th century rendering of these older ideas.
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The work was completed in and premiered in St. Petersburg in Cast in a classical four movement outlay, the work begins with a sonata form movement Tchaikovsky calls it a "sonatina", i. The introduction is very important for several reasons, some of which are not apparent until the end of the work. It is a beautiful and rich chorale, scored broadly for the whole of the orchestra.
The first theme follows and contains a particularly athletic passage for the cello section, playing scores of fast notes underneath a slower moving passage in the upper strings.
The second theme could be described as a perpetual musical motion; it features a line of fast notes climbing, cascading, and descending over and over again with very little respite. These constantly running lines lead elegantly back into the first theme and return once more in classical sonata fashion. Tchaikovsky does have a trick up his sleeve, however.
The opening chorale, perhaps somewhat forgotten, returns in full force to end the movement quite cleverly. The second movement is a gracious waltz that "updates" the requisite dance movement which in Mozart's time would have been a stately minuet to a more contemporary dance form contemporary, that is, for —it begs the question what kind of dance movement a serenade in would have. In any case, the waltz is almost deceptively complex. The harmonic shifts are numerous and often sudden and always deftly crafted.
The texture is somewhat of a departure from the previous movement in that there is a discernible lightness of touch in the waltz. The idea is for the orchestra to sound agile and elegant; it is, after all, a waltz.
This is no small task for a composer, and Tchaikovsky's orchestrational prowess certainly is to be admired. It is the perfect foil to the opening of the work and to the following movement's broad, lyrical, and decidedly darker sound. The harmony is robust and evocative, always the perfect underpinning for the melancholic melodies heard above. This slow and subdued section, based on a Russian folk song, stands in stark contrast to the core of the movement, which is a very quick-paced and rollicking finale based on another Russian folk melody—this time a dance tune.
watch This dance tune spins out and gives the orchestra a rather strenuous workout. It is almost as if the piece is continually building and building, seemingly getting faster, until Tchaikovsky channels the inventiveness and unpredictability of his beloved Mozart.