The Seasons (Tchaikovsky)

The Seasons (Tchaikovsky)

The Seasons (Tchaikovsky)

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Description:
The Seasons, Op. 37a (also seen as Op. 37b; published with the French title Les Saisons) is a set of twelve short character pieces for solo piano by the Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Each piece is the characteristic of a different month of the year in the northern hemisphere. The work is also sometimes heard in orchestral and other arrangements by other hands. Individual excerpts have always been popular - Troika (November) was a favourite encore of Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Barcarolle (June) was enormously popular and appeared in numerous arrangements (for orchestra, violin, cello, clarinet, harmonium, guitar and even mandolin).

Background

The Seasons was commenced shortly after the premiere of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto, and continued while he was completing his first ballet, Swan Lake.Alexander Poznansky, Tchaikovsky: The Quest for the Inner Man

In 1875, Nikolay Matveyevich Bernard, the editor of the St. Petersburg music magazine Nouvellist, commissioned Tchaikovsky to write 12 short piano pieces, one for each month of the year. Bernard suggested a subtitle for each month's piece. Tchaikovsky accepted the commission and all of Bernard's subtitles, and in the December 1875 edition of the magazine, readers were promised a new Tchaikovsky piece each month throughout 1876. The January and February pieces were written in late 1875 and sent to Bernard in December, with a request for some feedback...
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