Piano Concerto No. 1 (Tchaikovsky)

Piano Concerto No. 1 (Tchaikovsky)

Piano Concerto No. 1 (Tchaikovsky)

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Description:
The Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, Op. 23 was composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky between November 1874 and February 1875. It was revised in the summer of 1879 and again in December 1888. During its compositional stages, it received heavy criticism from Nikolai Rubinstein, Tchaikovsky's desired pianist. Rubinstein later repudiated his previous accusations and became a fervent champion of the work. It is one of the most popular of Tchaikovsky's compositions and among the best known of all piano concerti.

Instrumentation

The work is scored for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in B-flat, 2 bassoons, 4 horns in F, 2 trumpets in F, 3 trombones (2 tenor, 1 bass), timpani, solo piano, and string.

Structure

Movements

The concerto follows the traditional form of three movements:

  1. Allegro non troppo e molto maestoso – Allegro con spirito (B flat minor → B flat major)
  2. Andantino semplice – Prestissimo (D flat major)
  3. Allegro con fuoco (B flat minor → B flat major)


Question of the introduction



The concerto's first theme, which follows the famous introduction, is based on a melody that Tchaikovsky heard performed by blind beggar-musicians at a market in Kamenka (near Kiev), is notable for its apparent formal independence from the rest of the movement and from the concerto as a whole, especially given its setting not in the work’s nominal key of B-flat minor but...
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