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Fourth and Sixth symphonies

Just a thought, but does anyone else feel that there could be a thematic reference by Tchaikovsky to the main theme of the finale of the Fourth symphony in the finale of the Sixth symphony (the theme at rehearsal letter C in the Breikopf and Hartel edition, Andante)? They both descend initially, and climb higher as they progress. The key signatures are somewhat related, also. I would just like to see some further discussion on this possibility.


Adam Trevino

Hello Adam,

The main theme of the last movement of the Fourth Symphony is based on the lively Russian folk song....''In the Field the Birch Tree Stood" Tchaikovsky himself describes this movement to Madame Von Meck in a letter of March 1878...."if within yourself you find no reasons for joy, then look at others. Go among the people. See how they enjoy themselves, surrendering themselves wholeheartedly to joyful feelings. Picture the festive merriment of ordinary is simple, but powerful. rejoice in the rejoicing of others. To live is still possible." And so Adam the mood of this movement and its themes are at the opposite extremes of those expressed in the dirge like elegiac "Andante Lamentoso" of the Pathetique...the mood there is more like despair and resignation in the face of death....Tho Tchaikovsky provided no program for this symphony it pretty much follows the outline set by him for a symphony on life earlier a mediation on the issues of life and death....the themes I believe bear little connection other than coincidence...

I hope this provides some clarity .....

Albert Gasparo

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