Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Major – A Western Form of the Russian Music

Introduction: Topic and Thesis Statement

The proposed topic is “Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Major – A Western Form of the Russian Music.” The topic falls within the scope of the 19th Russian music problem and offers numerous prospects for further research. The selected composer is commonly characterized as one of the most acknowledged representatives of the Russian music tradition (Steib 723). The music piece proposed for the analysis is particularly interesting as it is a blend of the authentic Russian music style and the best traditions of the Western School of Composition (Kearney 30). Hence, it is suggested that a complex examination of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto and its national identity will allow for a better understanding of the Russian implications that the piece contains.

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The Rationale for Choosing the Topic

There are several reasons for my interest in the proposed topic. First and foremost, it is the piece’s phenomenon that is most curious. The preview of the relevant literature shows that there is no consensus regarding the Concerto’s evaluation within the critic community. Thus, experts point out that the Concerto would initially meet a mixed response (Stowell 159). The music piece was criticized for being too complicated and nationalistic (Newmarch 204). Moreover, Brown noted that opposite to other music pieces created by Tchaikovsky, the Concerto contained “none of the novel structural adventures” (178). In the meantime, history shows that it managed to gain world recognition and is currently considered one of the most emotionally powerful music pieces ever created (Joseph 118). Therefore, it is interesting to nature of the mixed response that the Concerto meets.

Second, the Concerto’s background remains vague and unclear – it is surrounded by numerous rumors and assumptions that make this music piece particularly intriguing. Thus, for example, some experts suggest that the creation of the masterpiece was inspired by Iosif Kotek, assigning a romantic implication to the Concerto’s appearance, in such a manner (Sciannameo 87). An alternative point of view suggests that the appearance of the Concerto was driven by the emotional discomfort that the composer experienced due to the distortion of his national identification – on the one hand, he remained a follower of the classic Russian School of Music; on the other hand, he adopted the foreign manner and techniques while working in the German environment (Knapp 200). As a result, it appears to be particularly interesting to investigate both the objective external factors such as the environment and the music standards of the period and the intrinsic factors, i.e. the sources of the composer’s inspiration. It might be suggested that a closer examination of the Concerto’s background and the drivers that determined its appearance might help to acquire a better understanding of the associated national implications and receive a complex idea of the Russian School of Composition of the relevant period.

The Rationale for Researching this Topic

There are two main reasons for studying the topic. First, the preview of the relevant literature reveals several gaps and inconsistencies that can be potentially eliminated with the findings retrieved in the course of the proposed research. Second, it is assumed that the topic analysis will allow for a better understanding of the Russian music of the nineteenth century in general.

Most importantly, it is essential to research the topic to examine the Russian implications that The Violin Concerto contains. On the face of it, experts’ assessments of the Concerto’s implications narrow down to the general remarks and appraisals. According to Roeder, for example, this music piece has a strong “folk quality” (297). This point is shared by Keefe who mentions the “Russian markers” that an experienced listener cannot help noticing (129). Meanwhile, the authors fail to define the particular characteristics of the Russian style that can be perceived in the discussed music piece. Therefore, the proposed research can fill in the existing gaps.

The second rationale for researching the proposed topic is the potential prospects of acquiring a more profound understanding of the Russian music of the 19th century in general. Specialists point out the varied response to the piece’s appearance in Russia and Europe (Taruskin 147). Therefore, it is considered important to analyze the piece from the standpoint of its national identity and the extent to which it can be referred to this or another School of Composition.

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Conclusion

It is assumed that the proposed topic will be equally interesting for experienced listeners and amateurs. The discussed problems fall beyond the scope of the music field covering all the cultural aspects of the relevant period. Hence, the research will offer an alternative vision of a music piece analysis that focuses on the examination of its background and the associated implications.

References

Brown, David. Tchaikovsky: The Man and His Music, New York, New York: Pegasus Books, 2007. Print.

Day-O’Connell, Jeremy. Pentatonicism from the Eighteenth Century to Debussy, New York, New York: University Rochester Press, 2007. Print.

Dubal, David. The Essential Canon of Classical Music, New York, New York: Macmillan, 2004. Print.

Johnson, Caitlin. “Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto: The Composer’s Original, Auer’s Edition, and the Performer’s Dilemma.” The Journal of Enquiry 9.1 (2015): 3-14. Print.

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Joseph, Romel. The Miracle of Music, New York, New York: Friends of Music for Haiti, 2010. Print.

Helmers, Rutger. Not Russian Enough?: Nationalism and Cosmopolitanism in Nineteenth-century Russian Opera, New York, New York: Boydell & Brewer, 2014. Print.

Karthas, Ilyana. When Ballet Became French: Modern Ballet and the Cultural Politics of France, 1909-1958, Chicago, Illinois: McGill-Queen’s Press, 2015. Print.

Kearney, Leslie. Tchaikovsky and His World, Chichester, West Sussex: Princeton University Press, 2014. Print.

Keefe, Simon. The Cambridge Companion to the Concerto, New York, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005. Print.

Knapp, Raymond. “Passing and Failing in Late Nineteenth Century Russia; or Why We Should Care about the Cuts in Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto.” 19th-Century Music 26.3 (2003): 195-234. Print.

Maes, Francis. A History of Russian Music: From Kamarinskaya to Babi Yar, London, England: University of California Press, 2002. Print.

Newmarch, Rosa. Tchaikovsky: His Life and Works, Honolulu, Hawaii: The Minerva Group, 2002. Print.

Orlova, Alexandra. Tchaikovsky: A Self-Portrait, New York, New York: Oxford University Press, 1990. Print.

Roeder, Michael Thomas. A History of the Concerto, Portland, Oregon: Hal Leonard Corporation, 1994. Print.

Sargeant, Lynn. Harmony and Discord: Music and the Transformation of Russian Cultural Life, New York, New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. Print.

Sciannameo, Franco. Experiencing the Violin Concerto: A Listener’s Companion, Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016. Print.

Steib, Murray. Reader’s Guide to Music: History, Theory, and Criticism, New York, New York: Routledge, 2013. Print.

Stowell, Robin. The Cambridge Companion to the Violin, New York, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992. Print.

Popovic, Marina. P. I. Tchaikovsky Concerto For Violin And Orchestra, Op. 35 2012. Web.

Taruskin, Richard. On Russian Music, New York, New York: University of California Press, 2008. Print.

Tchaikovsky, Modeste. The Life and Letters of Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky, Honolulu, Hawaii: The Minerva Group, 2004. Print.

Wintle, Justin. New Makers of Modern Culture, New York, New York: Routledge, 2016. Print.

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YourDissertation. "Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Major - A Western Form of the Russian Music." December 19, 2021. https://yourdissertation.com/dissertation-examples/tchaikovskys-violin-concerto-in-d-major-a-western-form-of-the-russian-music/.

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YourDissertation. 2021. "Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Major - A Western Form of the Russian Music." December 19, 2021. https://yourdissertation.com/dissertation-examples/tchaikovskys-violin-concerto-in-d-major-a-western-form-of-the-russian-music/.

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YourDissertation. (2021) 'Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Major - A Western Form of the Russian Music'. 19 December.

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