Tchaikovsky’s Other Piano Concerto

When going to bed I like to listen to one of three classical music stations…Houston’s own Houston Public Media ClassicalAll Classical Portland, and Seattle’s Classical King FM

I was listening a few nights ago [this was in January of 2021] to All Classical Portland and I heard the finale of this great piano concerto-I thought it sounded like in the style of Tchaikovsky but wasn’t sure.  And to my surprise, after it had finished with an exciting flourish, the announcer said, this was indeed by Tchaikovsky-his “Second” Piano Concerto. 

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky [1840 – 1893]

Of course, all classical music fans know of his epic virtuosic Piano Concerto #1 in B-Flat minor with it’s famous stirring start [first 3 minutes-in this video]:

How many of you knew this great Russian Romantic composer also had two other piano concertos. In the back of my mind I remembered he had more than just his legendary concerto #1, but I don’t think I have actually heard his other two concertos [before the other night on All Classical Portland-hearing #2].  Unless my memory is fading, I believe I have only heard his piano concerto #1 in Jones Hall.  And I am not sure why, when you hear this second piano concerto it is also amazingly difficult and exciting and great to hear. To me this is a great piano concerto.

This concerto has a unique history to it’s composition; from Wikipedia:  “was written in 1879-1880 and dedicated to Nikolai Rubinstein, who had insisted he be allowed to perform it at the premiere as a way of making up for his harsh criticism of Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto. But Rubinstein was destined never to play it, as he died in March 1881, and the work has never attained much popularity.

Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto #2 is scored in G-Major with 3 movements: 1. Allegro Brillante, 2. Andante non troppo, and 3. Allegro con fucco. 

In this video the great Yuja Wang puts on amazing performance of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto and when you hear her encore you will go WOW!  It is an improvisation in her own variation of Mozart’s rondo “Alla Turca”.  So, please don’t leave after the concerto is over but stay for her encore. In this video, Maestro Valery Gergiev leads the Münchner Philharmoniker, with Yang as soloist. 

Please turn up the volume, play in full screen, and enjoy Tchaikovsky’s “other” [one of his 2 other] piano concertos.

P.I. Tchaikovsky: Piano #2 Concerto in G Major:

How Could I Forget This Beautiful Melody

I have done posts on my favorite melodies in classical music. When I do that or am asked that question, I always insert the caveat that there are so, so many great melodies in classical music that I know I will forget to add them in the list I give. And I thought about that the other night when listening to Classical King FM.

When I go to sleep at night I always listen on my I phone to one of three classical music stations: Houston Public Media Classical Station; All Classical Portland; or Seattle’s Classical King FM. On Friday night November 5, 2021 I happened to be listening to King FM, when in the middle of the night [like happens to some of us old people] I woke up. When I do that I usually then turn off the internet radio station. But this time I heard something so beautiful, I couldn’t turn it off, even though it was about 4 am I had to listen to the end of Tchaikovsky’s “Rome and Juliet Fantasy Overture”. Then I remembered about my post of my favorite top 10 classical music melodies and I thought to myself, how could I not put this one in the top 10 it is so beautiful.

In the following video from You Tube, the melody I am talking about is introduced at about the 7:50 mark, and then further developed and exemplified in its full orchestral magnificence at about the 14:12 mark.

So, please turn up the volume and enjoy one of the most beautiful and recognizable melodies of classical music from Tchaikovsky.

P.I. Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture: