20 of 1,784
List: Edition Silvertrust
Pyotr Tchaikovsky

Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)

Nationality: Russian
Born: May 7, 1840, Kamsko-Votkinsk Died: November 6, 1893, St. Petersburg (age 53)

String Quartet No. 3 in E-flat major, Op. 30

(for 2 violins, viola and cello)
15:42 I. Andante sostenuto - Allegro moderato
3:46 II. Allegretto vivo e scherzando
11:20 III. Andante funebre e doloroso, ma con moto
5:46 IV. Finale. Allegro non troppo e risoluto
Duration: 37 minutes (approximately)
Composed: 1875 (age 34-35)
Premiere: March 30, 1876. Moscow Iosef Hřmalý (violin 1), Adolph Brodsky (violin 2), Yury Gerber (viola), Wilhelm Fitzenhagen (cello)
Published: 1876, Moscow: P. Jurgenson (age 35-36)
Dedication: To the memory of Ferdinand Laub
7 recordings, 25 videos
autoplay
15:37
Borodin Quartet
I. Andante sostenuto - Allegro moderato
3:42
Borodin Quartet
II. Allegretto vivo e scherzando
11:01
Borodin Quartet
III. Andante funebre e doloroso, ma con moto
5:37
Borodin Quartet
IV. Finale. Allegro non troppo e risoluto
17:17
Kopelman Quartet
I. Andante sostenuto - Allegro moderato
3:48
Kopelman Quartet
II. Allegretto vivo e scherzando
11:23
Kopelman Quartet
III. Andante funebre e doloroso, ma con moto
5:57
Kopelman Quartet
IV. Finale. Allegro non troppo e risoluto
15:37
Gabrielli Quartet
I. Andante sostenuto - Allegro moderato
3:54
Gabrielli Quartet
II. Allegretto vivo e scherzando
12:32
Gabrielli Quartet
III. Andante funebre e doloroso, ma con moto
5:39
Gabrielli Quartet
IV. Finale. Allegro non troppo e risoluto
38:04
Zemlinksy Quartet
14:55
Vlach Quartet
I. Andante sostenuto - Allegro moderato
3:49
Vlach Quartet
II. Allegretto vivo e scherzando
10:39
Vlach Quartet
III. Andante funebre e doloroso, ma con moto
5:50
Vlach Quartet
IV. Finale. Allegro non troppo e risoluto
15:43
Petersburg Philharmonic Quartet
I. Andante sostenuto - Allegro moderato
3:25
Petersburg Philharmonic Quartet
II. Allegretto vivo e scherzando
10:53
Petersburg Philharmonic Quartet
III. Andante funebre e doloroso, ma con moto
5:51
Petersburg Philharmonic Quartet
IV. Finale. Allegro non troppo e risoluto
15:05
Carmina Quartet
I. Andante sostenuto - Allegro moderato
3:53
Carmina Quartet
II. Allegretto vivo e scherzando
10:18
Carmina Quartet
III. Andante funebre e doloroso, ma con moto
6:03
Carmina Quartet
IV. Finale. Allegro non troppo e risoluto
From Edition Silvertrust

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky "Tchaikovsky's String Quartet No.3 ought not to be overlooked for it belongs to the most valuable works for this genre."

Wilhelm Altmann in his Handbook for String Quartet Players.

But how may people have heard it, much less played it? Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) is one of the most famous composers who ever lived and as such needs no introduction. However, chamber music is scarcely the first, second or even third musical genre with which he is associated. But, like most of the major composers of the 19th century, he made substantial contributions to the chamber music repertoire. Unfortunately, most of it, with the exception of the famous Andante cantabile, the second movement from his First String Quartet, is unknown and rarely if ever performed in concert. This is a shame, because it is of a very high caliber and surely deserves to be better known.

Tchaikovsky was 36 at the time he completed his Third String Quartet in 1876. It was dedicated to the memory of the violinist Ferdinand Laub, who was not only Tchaikovsky's friend, but also a fellow professor at the Moscow Conservatory and the leader of the string quartet which had premiered his first two string quartets. The Quartet begins slowly, Andante sostenuto, however the main theme is marked Allegro moderato and is foreshadowed in the introduction. It is the rhythm which captures the listener's attention, however, the second theme is more lyrical. The second movement, Allegro vivo e scherzando, is a light and airy intermezzo. It is the slow movement, Andante funebre e doloroso ma con moto, which explicitly commemorates Laub. Played muted, the first subject creates a kind of sobbing effect with its use of chords. The first violin is given a lengthy passionate declamatory passage. The second theme is less dramatic but more elegiac. The vigorous finale, Allegro risoluto, provides a welcome mood contrast from the deep grief expressed in the slow movement.

This is a work which belongs in the first rank of string quartets. It has been out of print or very hard to get for many years now. Several older editions leave a lot to be desired. Some are without rehearsal numbers (Jurgenson) others were printed with very poor ink and paper (Frederic Schreiber) and are hard to read. We have reprinted what is probably the best edition ever made of this work and hope that professionals and amateurs will add this fine work to their collections.

© Edition Silvertrust. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Related Composers

Sergei Taneyev (1856-1915)
Student
Nationality: Russian
Born: November 25, 1856, Vladimir-na-Klyaz′me Died: June 19, 1915, Dyud′kovo (age 58)