Tchaikovsky's Symphonies Five and Six Comparison Essay by Quality Writers

Tchaikovsky's Symphonies Five and Six
This paper analyzes and compares the fifth and sixth symphonies composed by the Russian romantic composer, Peter Il'yich Tchaikovsky.
# 104076 | 2,350 words | 8 sources | MLA | 2008 | US
Published on Jun 02, 2008 in Music Studies (Classical and Baroque)

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This paper explains that Tchaikovsky's "Symphony Five" and "Symphony Six" ("Pathetique Symphony") are mature compositions, showing the full flowering of the composer's romanticism and his musical ability. The author presents, for both symphonies, the background, organization, stylistic developments, orchestration and themes and progressions of each movement. The paper relates that the plan for the most of Tchaikovsky's symphonies begins with a pessimistic first movement, a second that is sad and peaceful, a third with an allegro movement in dance form and a fourth that is vigorous. The author points out that the "Sixth Symphony" does not follow this pattern in that the last movement is slow and mournful, giving rise to the idea of it being prophetic because of the death of the composer soon after it was premiered.

From the Paper:

"Garden states that the Fifth Symphony is more operatic even than the Fourth Symphony, using highly colored orchestration and a vivid presentation of ideas as did the Fourth, but also using operatic crescendos and more frequent alterations in tempo. This is particularly true in the slow movement, which makes use at the outset of the operatic aria in the Andante cantabile, con alcuna licenza, and with the licenza marked in the score. Garden also cites the way Tchaikovsky seeks contrasts with contrasting blocks of similar instruments."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Abraham, Gerald. Tchaikovsky: A Short Biography. Westport, Connecticut: Hyperion Press, Inc., 1945.
  • Garden, Edward. Tchaikovsky . New York: Octagon Books, 1973.
  • Jackson, Timothy L. Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 (Pathetique). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
  • Orlova, Alexandra. Tchaikovsky: A Self-Portrait. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990.
  • Poznansky, Alexander. Tchaikovsky's Last Days: A Documentary Study. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996.

Cite this Comparison Essay:

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"Tchaikovsky's Symphonies Five and Six" 02 June 2008. Web. 18 April. 2024. <>