Symphony No. 2; Finale - Pyotr Tchaikovsky
Tchaikovsky, one of the heavyweight symphonic composers of the 19th century, and a member of the Russian musical mafia – a group of composers known simply as ‘the five’, wrote his uncharacteristically upbeat second symphony at his sister’s home in Ukraine. Tchaikovsky attributed the inspiration for this work to the family butler, who would sing Ukrainian folk songs for the composer which were to become the basis of this symphony, in particular the last movement.
The finale starts with a grandiose statement of just a few notes, which immediately gives way to a playful rendition of ‘the Crane’ – a popular Ukrainian song. We hear several variations on this theme before a galloping final flourish brings the symphony to a close.