Friday, March 03, 2006

Tchaikovsky Bb String Quartet

For the past couple of months, my string quartet has been working on this piece. Our first violinist, Shane Snedigar, knew about it and gave us each a copy of the recording. However, he had been unable to find the parts. After an extensive web search, I was able to find it listed at Sheet Music Plus and ordered the parts. According to information that Shane had, it was a student work by Tchaikovsky. Listed on the part is "Opus Posthumous" so aparently it was not published until after his death.

As we've been working on it, the piece has really grown on me. In some ways, it is not as "mature" as his later works, and the main theme is not as amazing as his more famous themes from his more well-known quartets. However, it's endearing in its own right. And although it is not perhaps as technically demanding as his larger works, it is difficult enough to be challenging. Particularly the section with six sharps!

The form of the piece is interesting: it has a slow introduction, then the main body of the work is Allegro, then it has a slow conclusion echoing the first part. The whole thing is only about 12 minutes long.

We're preparing it to perform at the Albuquerque Philharmonic chamber music concert on May 21st. Seems like we still have a lot of time, but I think the difficult part of this piece is really bringing out the musical nuances. Now that we've gotten through most of the technical stuff, we can concentrate in this area. One nice thing about performing a little-known piece is that we have an opportunity to create our own interpretation without too many pre-conceived ideas from other recordings, etc. It's a fun process!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

. . . and a right fine job you did with this piece on May 21st too! I enjoyed it immensely.

5:42 PM  

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