Tchaikovsky’s description of the Third movement underscores his abilities as a scene painter, even in a work that has no specific plot. It is in these moments that his imagination is most playful, witty, and free.
Tchaikovsky describes the Second movement as a series of bittersweet emotions evoked by reflecting on the past. He tells of being overtaken by childhood memories that bring feelings of intimate familiarity and yet, at the same time, irretrievable distance.
Tchaikovsky wrote of the opening of the Fourth Symphony: “The Introduction is the kernel of the whole symphony, unquestionably its main idea: this is Fate, the force of destiny, which ever prevents our pursuit of happiness from reaching its goal, which jealously stands watch lest our peace and well-being be full and cloudless.”
Experience this masterpiece in Tchaikovsky’s own words. Learn about the events and influences that defined his character, his career, and his genius. See and hear the instruments of the orchestra that Tchaikovsky used in his music.
How can marks on a 150-year-old page transform into the unflinching emotion of Tchaikovsky’s 4th Symphony? From decoding the score, to uncovering Tchaikovsky’s hidden history, through rehearsals, tuning, and the big bang of opening night, Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) gives us a backstage pass to the making of a performance.
Savage and primitive, hypnotic and hell-bent, Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring turned Paris into the scene of one of the most astounding opening nights in history. In this episode of Keeping Score, the clutching tendrils of the music pull us back through France and Russia to the wild abandon of pagan times.
The second part opens with the Mystic Circles of the Maidens and ends with the Sacrificial Dance. Seven excerpts present the music, choreography and incredible scenery of Stravinsky’s score and of the ballet. Mouse over the “markups” to learn more about key moments in this movement. Click “Learn More” to see sketches from the choreography and to hear a narrative of the ballet by ballet reconstructionist Millicent Hodson.
After a difficult winter, the world awakens to spring. Eight excerpts starting with the opening and ending in the the Dance of the Earth. Mouse over the “markups” to learn more about key moments in this movement. Click “Learn More” to see sketches from the choreography and to hear a narrative of the ballet by ballet reconstructionist Millicent Hodson.
Hear work that shocked the opening night audiences. Follow the score and see the ballet, with insights from MTT and musicians of the San Francisco Symphony. Also hear an interview about the reconstruction of the ballet and costumes with dance historians Millicent Hodson and Kenneth Archer.