Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 3

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Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 3

Tchaikovsky composed this symphony in 1875, completing it in just a few months. Despite the pain that came with composing this masterpiece, he did not mention it much in letters to his friends, other than mentioning that he had been taking long walks while composing it. There is speculation that the 35-year-old Tchaikovsky composed this symphony soon after being scolded by a friend, pianist Nikolai Rubenstein, who said his first concerto was “unplayable.” Rubenstein’s comments had a significant impact on the highly sensitive Tchaikovsky, and he took a less risky, more conservative approach to Symphony No. 3.

I am particularly taken by the Andante (Part 3) of this symphony, the most romantic part; it is the gem of this symphony. It is almost as if it is a symphony within the symphony. I suggest you just skip to Part 3 (I did it for you), and once you fall in love with it, listen to the full symphony.

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