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16

Tchaikovsky—Symphony No. 4

Lecture no. 16 from the course: The 30 Greatest Orchestral Works

Tchaikovsky—Symphony No. 4

Taught by Professor Robert Greenberg | 48 min | Categories: The Great Courses Plus Online Music & Fine Art Courses

The musical content of Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony, mirroring events in his life, is directly explained in his letters. As background, reflect on his difficult youth, his disastrous marriage, and the pivotal support of his longtime benefactress. Through his letters, chart the symphony’s narrative “story,” from the struggle against relentless fate in the first movement, told through dramatically contrasting musical material, to the passionately affirmative finale, which incorporates a deeply symbolic Russian folk song.

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