program notes by composition > F > Finale from Symphony in F Minor No. 4

Finale from Symphony in F Minor No. 4

Pyotr I. Tschaikowsky

Finale from Symphony in F Minor No. 4 This symphony is a splendid example of Tschaikowsky’s remarkable inventive powers and overwhelming command of instrumental effects and resources. The Finale may be described as a wild rondo with three chief themes: The first is exposed early by all the high- er instruments, fortissimo against sustained chords in the brass. The second follows immediately -- a folk tune, “In the Fields There Stood a Birch Tree.” The third theme appears after a return of the first, a joyous march-like melody, sound- ed in harmony by the full band. Toward the end, the “Fate” theme, which appears very prominently in the the first part of the symphony, is proclaimed once more double fortissimo by all the wind instruments.

Pyotr Ilyich Tschaikowsky (1840-1893) began his adult life as a law clerk in the Russian government. Disillusioned by a colleague’s “unjust promotion”, he entered the St. Petersburg Conservatory of Music. His compositions reflect the emotional extremes of his complicated, unconventional lifestyle. He is beloved for his many ballets, symphonic poems, symphonies, operas, songs, piano music, and chamber works.

Last updated on April 5, 2012 by Palatine Concert Band