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!