- Serenade for Strings
- Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
- Symphony No.2, ‘Little Russian’
- Grzegorz Nowak
- Roustem Saitkoulov
Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings is among his most popular works, and was as much a pleasure to write as it is to hear. The usually self-critical composer declared that he loved this piece, and it is easy to understand why: the strings are treated with masterful understanding, whether independently or blended together as an instrumental ‘choir’.
Tchaikovsky was, at first, less content with his Symphony No. 2, despite its successful première, but the piece remains a joy, peppered with themes based on Ukrainian folk-songs.
These works frame that of another Russian composer, Rachmaninov, whose deft exploration of Paganini’s musical idea includes a sweeping version of the theme and is one of Rachmaninov’s most irresistible melodies.