Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: The Seasons
March: Song of the Lark
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky composed his twelve character pieces for piano, The Seasons, at the same time that he was writing his popular ballet, Swan Lake. Each piece in The Seasons depicts a different month of the year in Russia. Although originally composed for solo piano, some of the movements have been orchestrated for different kinds of ensembles, although none of these were done by Tchaikovsky. For each month in 2021, Classicalexburns will be exploring the same month from The Seasons. So look out for these once-a-month instalments throughout 2021!
The publishers of The Seasons added approved epigraphs to the start of each score of the Russian original. March: Song of the Lark has a small poem by Apollon Maykov at the front of the score:
The field shimmering with flowers,
the stars swirling in the heavens,
the song of the lark
fills the blue abyss.
Set in the colourful key of G minor, March is a slow and rich song of the lark. The use of the lower end of the piano at the start of the piece creates space for the right hand to move slowly into the upper range. This represents a growth in the music which blossoms as the Romantically-inclined right hand brings the melody to fruition. Mostly quiet in dynamic, this sensitive season is rich with complex harmonic movement and spacious delivery of the melody. The most introspective thus far in the series, March brings the mood down after the carnival-inspired February instalment. March concludes quietly.
Ⓒ Alex Burns
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