Tchaikovsky – Andante Cantabile

by Max Derrickson

Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky     (b Kamsko-Votkinsk, Vyatka province, 25 April 1840; St Petersburg, 25 Oct. 1893)

Andante Cantabile

In 1871 Tchaikovsky found himself unappreciative of his pitiful professor’s salary from the Moscow Conservatory, so he hatched the idea to give a benefit concert (that is, to benefit himself) of his own chamber music.  He immediately set to work writing his first String Quartet in D-Major, Op. 11, in which the second movement was marked Andante cantabile (slowly, singingly).  The beautifully lyrical first theme is based on old Ukrainian folk song,
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