Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto: Third Movement

Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto: Third Movement


Last movement begins suddenly with an orchestral tutti, it is in the key of A. After the orchestral introduction the violin enters with a quasi-improvisatory statement which is very energetic and includes arpeggios and leads to Russian dance music. When the soloist enters this improvisatory cadenza, the mood changes to a tense atmosphere before the new spiccato passage on which final movement based. In this cadenza, the pizzicato is very important because when soloists play pizzicato, generally the sound of violin is less according the power of finger. This movement has Russian folk dance music material and there are two separate themes which are different from each other in terms of character and rhythm. Generally the character of this movement is very fast through sixteenth notes and difficult to play good. There are lots of position changes with spiccati and the movement should be studied very slowly and détaché to be sure of positions as well as intonation. In the middle of movement, after the fast passage, it has a distinct folk element which is the second theme. In the second theme, bassoon and clarinet are very important because first violin play the theme and then these instruments among which there is a dialog. The violin has a melody based on Tchaikovsky’s characteristically folkish falling fourths. This theme on the G string of the violin should be performed very decisively and with quality and the full tone. After violin plays the theme, the answer comes from bassoon and clarinet very delicately, in a contrasting expression. The violin’s technical and musical capabilities are very significant for this movement and it is a very virtuosic work. The movement demands also a very deep concentration for not to lose control of the fast themes and details. It is like playing a game: However, it is not possible for every soloist to realize it in such an easiness and spontaneity, because of the highest technical difficulties.


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