Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tchaikovsky's Third Piano Concerto

The next piece of unfinished music we are going to look at this month is a relatively obscure work, Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 3. Tchaikovsky began working on this piece in May of 1893, leaving it incomplete at his death later that year. He had planned the work to contain three movements, adapting it from a prior Symphony in E-flat major that he began and then discarded.

Following Tchaikovsky’s death, only the first movement and sketches of the second and third were found. Tchaikovsky’s student, Sergey Taneyev, completed the last two movements and published them as a separate work titled Andante and Finale, Op. 79. Taneyev gave the first performance of the completed concerto in 1895 in St. Petersburg. While many people aren’t very familiar with this work in comparison with many of Tchaikovsky’s other hits, some may find it familiar because it was used as the score to George Balanchine’s ballet Allegro brillante in 1956.

You can listen to Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 3 below. Are you familiar with this piece?

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