Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (7 May 1840 – 6 November 1893) was a Russian composer of the romantic period, whose works are among the most popular music in the classical repertoire. He was the first Russian composer whose music made a lasting impression internationally, bolstered by his appearances as a guest conductor in Europe and the United States. He was honored in 1884 by Emperor Alexander III, and awarded a lifetime pension.
The Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35, was written by him in 1878, and is one of the best known violin concertos.
Tchaikovsky composed it in Clarens Switzerland, a resort on the shores of Lake Geneva, where he had gone to recover from the depression brought on by his disastrous marriage to Antonina Miliukova. But it was not premiered until 1891 in Vienna when the Russian violinist Adolph Brodsky was willing to take the risk both technically and psychologically on stage.
The concerto is scored for solo violin, two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets in A and B-flat, two bassoons, four horns in F, two trumpets in D, timpani and strings.
And it is in three movements:
Allegro moderato (D major)
Canzonetta: Andante (G minor)
Finale: Allegro vivacissimo (D major)
A typical performance runs approximately 35 minutes.
It was called "long and pretentious" by the music critic Eduard Hanslick, who even claimed the third movement "odorously Russian." It was understandable for a violinist to refuse to play it due to its technical difficulty or concern of one's reputation, but it's mysterious that someone who had listened to music for decades and written about it for life failed to see and feel the beauty of this concerto.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky(7 May [O.S. 25 April] 1840 – 6 November [O.S. 25 October] 1893) was a Russian composer of the Romantic period. He was the first Russian composer whose music made a lasting impression internationally, bolstered by his appearances as a guest conductor in Europe and the United States. He was honored in 1884 by Emperor Alexander III, and awarded a lifetime pension.
Tchaikovsky was educated for a career as a civil servant and entered the nascent Saint Petersburg Conservatory, from which he graduated in 1865. The formal Western-oriented teaching he received there set him apart from composers of the contemporary nationalist movement embodied by the Russian composers of The Five, with whom his professional relationship was mixed. Tchaikovsky's training set him on a path to reconcile what he had learned with the native musical practices to which he had been exposed from childhood. From this reconciliation he forged a personal but unmistakably Russian style—a task that did not prove easy. The principles that governed melody, harmony and other fundamentals of Russian music ran completely counter to those that governed Western European music; this seemed to defeat the potential for using Russian music in large-scale Western composition or for forming a composite style, and it caused personal antipathies that dented Tchaikovsky's self-confidence. Russian culture exhibited a split personality, with its native and adopted elements having drifted apart increasingly since the time of Peter the Great. This resulted in uncertainty among the intelligentsia about the country's national identity—an ambiguity mirrored in Tchaikovsky's career.
While his music has remained popular among audiences, critical opinions were initially mixed. Some Russians did not feel it was sufficiently representative of native musical values and expressed suspicion that Europeans accepted the music for its Western elements. In an apparent reinforcement of the latter claim, some Europeans lauded Tchaikovsky for offering music more substantive than base exoticism and said he transcended stereotypes of Russian classical music. Others dismissed Tchaikovsky's music as "lacking in elevated thought", according to longtime New York Times music critic Harold C. Schonberg, and derided its formal workings as deficient because they did not stringently follow Western principles.
The "Waltz of the Flowers" (1892) is a piece of orchestral music from the second act of The Nutcracker, a ballet composed by Tchaikovsky. Tchaikovsky told his fellow musicians he was working on a "fantastic" ballet called The Nutcracker: "It's awfully fun to write a march for tin soldiers, a waltz of the flowers, etc."
The waltz is also the last number in his Nutcracker Suite. The "Waltz of the Flowers" is very popular. It has been arranged for various instruments and for various combinations of instruments.
Nocturne No. 20 in C-sharp minor, Op. posth., Lento con gran espressione, P 1, No. 16, KKIVa/16 by Frédéric Chopin
The Nocturne No. 20 in C-sharp minor, Op. posth., Lento con gran espressione, P 1, No. 16, KKIVa/16, is a solo piano piece composed by Frédéric Chopin in 1830 and published in 1870.
Chopin dedicated this work to his older sister, Ludwika Chopin, with the statement: "To my sister Ludwika as an exercise before beginning the study of my second Concerto".
First published 26 years after the composer's death, the piece is usually referred to as Lento con gran espressione, from its tempo marking. It is sometimes also called Reminiscence.
This Nocturne is featured in the 2002 Roman Polanski film The Pianist. It is played twice (both times incompletely) in the film, at the beginning and at the end, by the protagonist Władysław Szpilman, at the recording studio at Warsaw Radio. The complete piece is provided in the soundtrack, played by Polish classical pianist Janusz Olejniczak.
In 2018, Russian figure skater Evgenia Medvedeva used this Nocturne as the music for her Performance for Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.