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Donald Macleod explores the rich vein of fairy tale and fantasy in Tchaikovsky's music. Today, Siegfried amongst the swans, and music to mark the passing of the year.

Donald Macleod explores the rich vein of fairy tale and fantasy in Tchaikovsky's music. Today, Siegfried amongst the swans, and music to mark the passing of the year.

Before Tchaikovsky was commissioned to write the music for a ballet about a flight of swan-maidens afloat on a lake of tears and the love-struck prince who sets them free, Russian ballet music had traditionally been the province of jobbing 'specialists' rather than fully-fledged art-composers. Tchaikovsky's initial inspiration was largely financial, and he came to the project with little understanding of how to write music to be danced to. But he was a quick student, and soon began to warm to his brief - in the process producing some of his most memorable music. His piano suite The Seasons - actually a sequence of 12 pieces, one for each month of the year - was largely written in moments stolen from his work on Swan Lake.

The Seasons, Op 37b - December (Christmas)
Mikhail Pletnev, piano

Swan Lake, Op 20 - Act 2
Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal
Charles Dutoit, conductor

The Seasons, Op 37b:
January (By the Fireside)
February (Carnival)
June (Barcarolle)
August (Harvest Time)
September (The Hunt)
November (Troika)
Mikhail Pletnev, piano

Produced by Chris Barstow.

1 hour

Last on

Mon 11 Dec 2017 12:00

Music Played

  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    The Seasons Op 37b December (Christmas)

    Performer: Mikhail Pletnev.
    • VIRGIN : VC545-042-2.
    • VIRGIN.
    • 18.
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    Swan Lake - Ballet Op 20

    Orchestra: Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. Conductor: Charles Dutoit.
    • DECCA : 436-212 2.
    • DECCA.
    • 10.
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    The Seasons Op 37b January (By the hearth)

    Performer: Mikhail Pletnev.
    • VIRGIN : VC545-042-2.
    • VIRGIN.
    • 18.
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    The Seasons Op 37b February (Carnival time) (Shrovetide)

    Performer: Mikhail Pletnev.
    • VIRGIN : VC545-042-2.
    • VIRGIN.
    • 18.
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    The Seasons Op 37b - June (Barcarolle)

    Performer: Mikhail Pletnev.
    • VIRGIN : VC545-042-2.
    • VIRGIN.
    • 18.
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    The Seasons Op 37b - August (Harvest)

    Performer: Mikhail Pletnev.
    • VIRGIN : VC545-042-2.
    • VIRGIN.
    • 18.
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    The Seasons Op 37b September (The hunt)

    Performer: Mikhail Pletnev.
    • VIRGIN : VC545-042-2.
    • VIRGIN.
    • 18.
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    The Seasons Op 37b November (In the troika)

    Performer: Mikhail Pletnev.
    • VIRGIN : VC545-042-2.
    • VIRGIN.
    • 18.

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