This will be a first in four posts based on Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings in C major Op.48. This piece composed by Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky in 1880 has four movements. If you are not familiar with this I’ll explain it very simply!
When a composer, well composes, he/she thinks just like an author thinks in writing a novel. “Serenade for Strings” is the title of the “novel”, but the “novel” has various chapters. In classical music, each “chapter” (aka. movements) will have a title. The text, for example I have a project where the “main title” is “You and I” and a movement (chapter) is “My heart is not ready to take off”. In classical music, if somebody’s work has a title like in the examples above we classify said work as programmatic music. Programmatic music is a piece of art whose title alludes to something else.
Tchaikovsky’s “Serenade for Strings” has 4 movements:
- Pezzo in forma di sonatina: Andante non troppo — Allegro moderato
- Valse: Moderato — Tempo di valse
- Élégie: Larghetto elegiaco
- Finale (Tema Russo): Andante con spirito
In this case, Tchaikovsky used tempo marking (which gives the orchestra, in this case, how they should play the score). Tempo markings are usually in Italian, but they can be in French, English, German or Russian.
I hope you enjoy this mini-series!
Murmure dans le vent
Adieu to my diminute chanson
May you rest alongside
my pride, pain, sorrow, and demise
Goodbye to song of tomorrow
You shall sleep beside
despair, solitude, and frustration
Adieu to my bleeding heart
protruding from flaming coals
-yearning to the sky- for the water of your tears
Farewell to the inhibitions
created by life, fueled by fear
paralizing it’s foes against their wills
Adieu to this world I know and love
for you have nurtured me, the time has come
to sail the seas for you and me.
What did you envisioned with this first movement as you read the poem?