Symphony No. 6 (Tchaikovsky)

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Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky died in 1893, nine days after the premiere of his final Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Pathetique, Op. 74. Because of this fact as well as the sad aspects of the music, it is often referred to as Tchaikovsky's "suicide note." His brother Modest suggested the title, which was used on early editions of the symphony; although Tchaikovsky disliked the title and instructed the publisher to remove it, his publisher chose not to, and the title remained.

Pathetique is often called Tchaikovsky's most artful work because of its beauty and intriguing form. Tchaikovsky stated about the piece, "Without exaggeration, I have put my whole soul into this work." This symphony is notable as the first to end with a slow movement, concluding the work with a feeling of hopelessness. The symphony is approximately 47 minutes in duration.

  1. Adagio - Allegro non troppo
  2. Allegro con grazia
  3. Allegro molto vivace
  4. Finale: Adagio lamentoso

The first movement opens with a dark bassoon solo, often interpreted to represent death. It then moves through several development sections, never using a "light" tone until a brief trombone chorale near the end.

The second movement takes the form of an upbeat dance. Its unusual 5/4 time signature is the subject of much speculation, most of which claims that the movement acts as a stretched or limping waltz.

The third movement is again upbeat. In common time, it adheres to much more of a standard form than the rest of the work. The movement centers around two themes, a nervous, jittery motif in the woodwinds and a majestic march originating in the brass. Eventually, the brass theme "wins" and the orchestra launches into a full, triumphant chorus of it at the movement's end, often leading many people to believe that the symphony is over.

The final movement immediately returns to the darkness of the first with its brooding tone and slow tempo. The bassoon theme reemerges and is built upon; after much development, the movement, without ever quickening, meanders off into a quiet ending, leaving a feeling of despair and sadness.

ja:交響曲第6番 (チャイコフスキー)
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