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Tchaikovsky - Thematic Index. Best Classical Tunes.      
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Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich    1840-1893    Russia

       Capriccio Italien Op 45 (Tchaikovsky)

1    first theme


2    second theme


3    third theme


4    fourth theme


   Eugin Onegin
       Waltz from Eugin Onegin Act 2 (Tchaikovsky)

1    Main theme


   Festival Overture 1812
       Festival Overture 1812, Op 49. (1812 Overture) (Tchaikovsky)

1    Slow opening theme on strings.


2    Exciting new theme by the brass, with a strong military flavour.


3    Quote from La Marseillaise, the French National Anthem.


4    A quiet lyrical melody soars in the strings


5    The woodwinds play a sadder minor theme.


6    The Tsarist National Anthem of Russia is quoted, in counterpoint with theme 2. (Also in Tchaikovsky's Marche Slave)

       Hamlet Fantasy Overture Op 67 (Tchaikovsky)

1    First theme

       Marche Slave (Tchaikovsky)

1    Very sad opening theme


2    A brighter tune follows on woodwinds.


3    A russian anthem tune on the tuba, also used in the 1812 overture

       None but the Lonely Heart Op 6 No.6 (Tchaikovsky)

1    None but the Lonely Heart Op 6 No 6


   Nutcracker Suite, from the Ballet
       Arabian Dance, from Act 2, Nutcracker ballet (Tchaikovsky)

1    This mysterious tune is played by the clarinets, after 4 bars of muted low octaves on the cellos and violas.


2    This second tune is played by the violins, still mystic, in G minor key.

       Chinese Dance, from Act 2, Nutcracker ballet. (Tchaikovsky)

1    After the bassoons set up a plodding, comic rhythmic background, the flute soars up with this tune.

       Dance of the Reed Pipes from Act 2, Nutcracker Ballet (Tchaikovsky)

1    After a two-bar introductory um-pah from the pizzicato lower strings, this flute melody is played by three flutes in close harmony.

       Dance of the Sugar Plum fairy from Act 2, Nutcracker ballet (Tchaikovsky)

1    This fairy-like theme is played on the celesta after 4 bars of pizzicato pianissimo chords from the strings.

       March, from Act 1, Nutcracker ballet (Tchaikovsky)

1    This main theme is introduced by the trumpets and clarinets

       Miniature Overture, from Nutcracker ballet (Tchaikovsky)

1    First theme, pianissimo, very light texture employing only violins and violas.


2    Second theme, cantabile on 1st violins, backed by syncopated pizzicato chords on 2nd violins and violas.

       Trepak, or Russian Dance, Act 2, Nutcracker ballet (Tchaikovsky)

1    This dance is introduced molto vivace by the strings and woodwinds.

       Waltz of the Flowers (Tchaikovsky)

1    Opening tune on the woodwinds, interspersed with glittering harp arpeggios.


2    The main waltz tune, on french horns..


3    Second waltz theme, on violins, another knockout sweeping Tchaikovsky tune!


4    Third waltz theme, played by flutes and oboes, interspersed with gliding scales on the strings, and accompanied by the harp.


5    Fourth theme is played by cellos and violas, an animated expressive passage in the relative minor key.


   Piano Concerto No.1 in Bb minor
       Piano Concerto No.1 in Bb minor Op 23 1st movement (Tchaikovsky)

1    Grand opening of piano concerto no 1, with first theme suggested on french horns, backed by orchestral chords, followed by main 1st theme on violins and cellos, backed by huge piano chords.


2    Second theme, on clarinets, then picked up by the piano.


3    Third theme on strings, with brief piano episodes.


4    Repeat of 2nd theme, this time on flutes, with piano arpeggios.

       Piano Concerto No.1 in Bb Minor Op 23 2nd movement (Tchaikovsky)

1    Theme 1 on flute, backed by pizzicato and pianissimo chords on strings.


2    The piano repeats theme 1, with only one note different. The third note is a high Bb.It is accompanied by bowed descending string passages.


3    Theme 2 on oboe, picked up by piano 6 bars later.There has been a huge key change from Db major to D major.


4    Theme 3 on violas and cellos, with virtuoso semi-quaver passages on the piano.

       Piano Concerto No.1 in Bb Minor Op 23 3rd movement (Tchaikovsky)

1    A dramatic 4 bar introduction by the strings and timpani


2    The piano attacks the fiery first theme in the 5th bar.


3    A second theme in Gb major played by the strings, seems to evoke memories of Brahms' Hungarian dances.


4    Then a third theme, broader and more melodic, is introduced by the strings and taken up by the piano

       Romeo and Juliet - Fantasy Overture (Tchaikovsky)

1    First theme played by the strings


2    Dramatic, violent 2nd theme


3    Love theme - This is another of Tchaikovsky's immortal passionate melodies, introduced by the cor anglais..


4    The mood now becomes more peaceful.


   Serenade for Strings in C Op 48
       Serenade for Strings in C Op 48 - 1st movement - Pezzo in forma di Sonatina (Tchaikovsky)

1    Serenade for Strings in C Op 48 - 1st Movt - Pezzo in forma di Sonatina - 1st theme

       Serenade for Strings in C Op 48 - 2nd movement Waltz themes (Tchaikovsky)

1    Serenade for Strings in C Op 48 - 2nd Movt - first waltz theme.


2    Second waltz theme, also on violins.

       Serenade for Strings in C Op 48 - 3rd movement (Tchaikovsky)

1    First theme - Elegie


2    Second theme

       Serenade for Strings in C Op 48 - 4th movement (Tchaikovsky)

1    First theme - 'Russian'.


2    Second theme


   Sleeping Beauty - Ballet
       Adagio - Pas D'Action - from Act 1, Sleeping Beauty (Tchaikovsky)

1    Another sweeping melody on the high violins.

       Introduction and Dance of the Lilac Fairy (Tchaikovsky)

1    Main theme enters quietly, after a boisterous introduction by the full orchestra

       Panorama from Act 2, Sleeping Beauty (Tchaikovsky)

1    The top melody divides each 6/8 bar into 3 crotchets, against the accompaniment in a regular 6/8 rhythm.

       Waltz, from Act 1, Sleeping Beauty (Tchaikovsky)

1    Main waltz theme (after a brief introduction)

       Song Without Words Opus 40 No.6 (Tchaikovsky)

1    Song Without Words Opus 40 No 6


   String Quartet No.1 in D Major Op.11
       String Quartet No.1 in D Major Op.11 - 1st movement (Tchaikovsky)

1    String Quartet No.1 in D Major Op.11 - 1st Movt. Main theme

       String Quartet No.1 in D Major Op.11 - 2nd movement Andante cantabile (Tchaikovsky)

1    String Quartet No.1 in D Major Op.11 - 2nd Movt Andante cantabile - 1st theme


2    This beautiful melody in the major key forms a contrast to the melancholy of theme 1.

       String Quartet No.1 in D Major Op.11 - 3rd movement (Tchaikovsky)

1    String Quartet No.1 in D Major Op.11 - 3rd Movt

       String Quartet No.1 in D Major Op.11 - 4th movement (Tchaikovsky)

1    String Quartet No.1 in D Major Op.11 - 4th Movt


   Swan Lake Ballet
       Neapolitan Song (Tchaikovsky)

1    Neapolitan Song

       Swan Lake Act 1 - Waltz (Tchaikovsky)

1    Swan Lake Act 1 - Waltz,Introductory descending scale passage on strings


2    Main theme of waltz, on first violins.

       Swan Lake Act 2 - Pas d'Action (Tchaikovsky)

1    Violin solo, main theme of this Pas D'Action after the harp introduction.

       Swan Lake Act 2 - Scene (Tchaikovsky)

1    Swan Lake Act 2 - Scene

       Swan Lake Act 2, Dance of the Swans (Tchaikovsky)

1    Swan Lake Act 2, Dance of the Swans

       Swan Lake Act 3 - Hungarian Dance and Czardas (Tchaikovsky)

1    Stately processional theme introducing the dance, dominated by the brass.


2    The dance starts with a slow dramatic tune on the strings.


3    The dance speeds up energetically, with a flurrying tune on the violins.

       Swan Lake Act 3 - Neopolitan Dance (Tchaikovsky)

1    Main trumpet theme of this Neopolitan Dance.

       Swan Lake Act 4 - Finale (Tchaikovsky)

1    Finale starts with the sad theme of the 'Scene' and the ballet intro


   Symphony No.1 in G minor "Winter Daydreams"
       Symphony No.1 in G minor "Winter Daydreams" - 1st movement (Tchaikovsky)

1    first theme

       Symphony No.1 in G minor "Winter Daydreams" - 2nd movement (Tchaikovsky)

1    First theme

       Symphony No.1 in G minor "Winter Daydreams" - 3rd movement (Tchaikovsky)

1    first theme

       Symphony No.1 in G minor "Winter Daydreams" - 4th movement (Tchaikovsky)

1    first theme


   Symphony No.2 in C minor "Little Russian" Op 17
       Symphony No.2 in C minor "Little Russian" Op 17 - 1st movement (Tchaikovsky)

1    first theme

       Symphony No.2 in C minor "Little Russian" Op 17 - 2nd movement (Tchaikovsky)

1    First theme

       Symphony No.2 in C minor "Little Russian" Op 17 - 3rd movement (Tchaikovsky)

1    first theme

       Symphony No.2 in C minor "Little Russian" Op 17 - 4th movement (Tchaikovsky)

1    first theme


   Symphony No.3 in D Op29 "Polish"
       Symphony No.3 in D 1st movement (Tchaikovsky)

1    First theme - pianissimo introduction


2    Second theme


3    Third theme


4    Fourth theme

       Symphony No.3 in D 2nd movement (Tchaikovsky)

1    First theme

       Symphony No.3 in D 3rd movement (Tchaikovsky)

1    First theme played by flutes, andante elegaico


2    Second theme on a solo bassoon, with pizzicato strings


3    Third theme on strings, cantabile

       Symphony No.3 in D 4th movemnt (Tchaikovsky)

1    first theme on strings, an incredibly fast scherzo


2    The 'trio' has the second theme on woodwinds

       Symphony No.3 in D 5th movement (Tchaikovsky)

1    First theme


2    Second theme


   Symphony No.4 in F minor Op 36
       Symphony No.4 in F minor Op 36 1st movement (Tchaikovsky)

1    Symphony No 4 in F minor Op 36 1st Movt. Opening fanfare on french horns and bassoons.


2    second theme of first movement, on strings, following the opening fanfare.

       Symphony No.4 in F minor Op 36 2nd movement (Tchaikovsky)

1    First theme, a plaintive tune on the oboe, with occasional pizzicato chords on the strings.


2    The second theme of this movement, on the strings, is a little more confident than the oboe opening.

       Symphony No.4 in F Minor Op 36 3rd movement (Tchaikovsky)

1    The first theme is a long and rapid pizzicato passage on the strings.


2    After the long pizzicato passage, this oboe theme brings some contrast.

       Symphony No.4 in F Minor Op 36 4rd movement (Tchaikovsky)

1    First theme, plaintive in the minor key


2    Second theme, brighter, in the relative major key


   Symphony No.5 in E minor Op 64
       Symphony No.5 in E minor Op 64 1st movement (Tchaikovsky)

1    This introduction to the first movement opens with a fateful, gloomy theme played by clarinets in the low register.


2    This first main theme played by clarinets and bassoons in octaves, is a little livelier than the introduction, but still pretty gloomy.


3    This 2nd main theme played by the strings seems to express a plaintive yearning for something impossible.


4    This 3rd theme of this first movement starts with a forte pizzicato chord played by the string section, then a repetitive passage on the clarinets, folowed by an upward surge on the strings.


5    This syncopated 4th theme played by the violins continues ever more forcefully the sense of longing which dominates this entire 1st movement.

       Symphony No.5 in E minor Op 64 2nd movement (Tchaikovsky)

1    French Horns introduce the slow, sweeping main theme of this slow movement.


2    This 2nd theme of the slow movement is another plaintive melody, this time from the oboe, against pulsating triplets from the strings.


3    Third theme, now in regular 4 beats to the bar.

       Symphony No.5 in E minor Op 64 3rd movement (Tchaikovsky)

1    Main theme

       Symphony No.5 in E minor Op 64 4th movement (Tchaikovsky)

1    This is the same theme that started the first movement, but in E major instead of E minor.


   Symphony No.6 in B Minor - Pathetique
       Symphony No.6 in B Minor Pathetique - 1st movement (Tchaikovsky)

1    A slow sad tune on the bassoon, accompanied by low strings, starts off this movement.


2    Theme 1 is a poignant sad tune played by the violas and cellos.


3    Theme 2 is a lovely sweeping melody, one of Tchaikovsky's immortal tunes, played in octaves by the first violins and the cellos.


4    Theme 3 as a brisker tune in which the flute ascends a scale and falls down an arpeggio, imitated by the bassoon.


5    Theme 4 is a reprise of the lyrical flowing tune of theme 2, this time backed by the entire orchestra.

       Symphony No.6 in B minor Pathetique - 2nd movement (Tchaikovsky)

1    This lovely melody on the cellos which introduces the slow movement, has the unusual 5/4 time signature.

       Symphony No.6 in B minor Pathetique - 3rd movement (Tchaikovsky)

1    A skipping tune on the violins starts the 3rd movement energetically.


2    The 2nd theme, still on first violins, skips along with an energetic new rhythmic pattern which is employed throughout this movement.


3    The 3rd theme on clarinets is a new tune in a major key, but it uses the same rhythmic pattern as theme 2.

       Symphony No.6 in B minor Pathetique - 4th movement (Tchaikovsky)

1    The 1st theme is poignant tune in B minor on the violins, in which the notes of the melody are played alternately by the first and the second violins.


2    The 2nd theme is a slow majestic tune on the strings, descending the top 4 notes of the major scale.


   Tempest - Fantasy Overture in F minor Op 18
       Tempest - Fantasy Overture in F Op 18 (Tchaikovsky)

1    After a short chordal intro by woodwinds, strings enter pianissimo


2    French horns enter piano, backed by the continuing string arpeggios.


   Violin Concerto in D Op 35
       Violin Concerto in D Op 35 1st movement (Tchaikovsky)

1    This introductory passage by the strings precedes the entrance of the violin soloist with a short cadenza.


2    The first theme is introduced by the violin soloist, a robust tune in the tonic D major


3    The second theme is livelier, giving the soloist an opportunity to display virtuosity.


4    The 3rd theme, in a more subdued mood, and still played by the solo violin, has modulated into the dominant key of A major.

       Violin Concerto in D Op 35 2nd movement (Tchaikovsky)

1    An introductory chordal passage on the woodwinds opens the 2nd movement.


2    The solo violin enters with a sad reflective tune in G minor.


3    Theme 2 from the violinist is a more cheerful tune in Eb major.

       Violin Concerto in D Op 35 3rd Movement (Tchaikovsky)

1    This low opening passage on the soloist's G-string seems to resemble starting a car with a crank handle, once it's revved up, the main theme starts to fly!


2    Main theme, an extremely fast and very difficult passage for the solo violin.


3    Second theme, still played by the soloist, but at a somewhat slower tempo.

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