Finale from Symphony in F minor No 4 (ed Singleton)

From Wind Repertory Project
Peter I Tchaikovsky

Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky (arr. Kenneth Singleton)

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Title varies: Symphony No. 4 in F Minor, or Symphony No. 4. Finale, or Symphony No. 4, Op. 36 – Finale

General Info

Year: 1878 / 1912 / 2003
Duration: c. 9:30
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Symphony
Publisher: Masters Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $90.00   |   Score Only (print) - $15.00


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None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The Fourth Symphony, by its magnificent power and brilliance, its flashes and humor, and its marvelous coloring, has won its way to a point in the favor of concert audiences which places it on an equal footing with its successors, and there are many who prefer it to the Fifth -- and the Sixth (Pathetique).

The first performance of this composition took place on February 22, 1878, at Moscow, under the direction of Nicholas Rubinstein. The work was, at its production, only a mild success. When it was played for the first time in Petrograd, December 7, 1878, it met with brilliant success, and this triumph brought great happiness to Tchaikovsky. The first performance of the symphony in America took place February 1, 1890, at a concert of the Symphony Society, conducted by Walter Damrosch, in the Metropolitan Opera House, New York.

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band

To say that Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky was a melancholy man would be a rather drastic understatement. Throughout his life, the brilliant composer was plagued by depression and self-doubt, particularly where his music was concerned. It has even been suggested that he took his own life (by deliberately drinking water during a cholera epidemic) after his sixth symphony received a lukewarm response from critics. He was famously ambivalent about works such as The Nutcracker, which would of course become one of the world’s most beloved pieces of classical music. The only one of his works that he seemed to genuinely love was Symphony No. 4, composed in 1877.

The work was written for his mysterious patroness, Nadezhda von Meck, who paid for all of the composer’s expenses during the period, but strangely insisted they never meet in person. She also wished the dedication to be anonymous, so Tchaikovsky simply dedicated it “to my best friend.” The symphony addresses the role of fate in one’s life, and ultimately how the search for individual happiness can be futile if fate has decreed otherwise. The fate motif appears at the opening of the first movement in the trumpets and horns and recurs at the end of the fourth, interrupting an otherwise joyous experience. The “Finale” is described by the composer as an attempt to seek out the happiness of others and to lose oneself in a carnival-like atmosphere. In the end, however, fate crashes the party, again in the throbbing triplet fanfare in trumpet and horn, and the protagonist is reminded of himself and his isolation.

- Program Note by Andrew Skaggs for the U.S. Navy Band


State Ratings

  • North Carolina: VI


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  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 583.
  • Tchaikovsky, P.; Singleton, K. (2003). Symphony No. 4. Finale [score]. Masters Music Publications: Boca Raton, Fla.