Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate May 2001

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Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35 "Unbridled emotion" would perhaps best describe the music of Tchaikovsky. (DiSilvio) Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky* is considered by some one of the best composers ever to write music. Throughout his life he wrote a great amount and variety of music ranging from operas and ballets to orchestral and chamber music, but throughout his live he only wrote one violin concerto. Why did Tchaikovsky decide to write a concerto, and how is his concerto perceived? Tchaikovsky's violin concerto was written following the end of his disastrous marriage with Antonini Ivanova Milioukov. (Kuenning) He arranged to send his wife to Moscow while he traveled to several other cities to keep distance from her. (Kuenning) He became so depressed that he attempted to catch pneumonia by wading into an icy river, which failed to no extent. (Kuenning) Tchaikovsky then escaped to Switzerland where in early March 1878 Yosif Yosifovich*, a violinist and former student of Tchaikovsky, visited him.

(T.V.C.) After playing Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole with the young man Tchaikovsky was moved to immediately begin work on the concerto. (Keays) Tchaikovsky was unaware of the limitations that the violin had, and wanted to push the limitations to a totally new level. (T.V.C) The sketches of the concerto were completed in only eleven days, and the scoring took only two weeks. (Keays) Tchaikovsky said to Mme. Von Meck, "For the first time in my life I have begun to work at a new piece before finishing the one on hand"¦ I could not resist the pleasure of sketching out the concerto, and allowed myself to be so carried away that the sonata has been set aside." (Kuenning) Like most great concertos, Tchaikovsky's violin concerto was dismissed as unplayable. (Great Works) He had dedicated the work to the...