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Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings, form of Waltz movement

August 6, 2009

An analysis of the form of the second movement of Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings Op. 48.  This is the waltz movement.

Tchaikovsky Serenade Mvt. II Waltz

Section bar numbers number of bars key comments
A1 1-20 20 G major bars 1-13

D major bars 14-20

rondo theme

theme in vln I

B 21-52 32 D major bars 21-33

G major bars 34-45

b minor bars 46-52

episode 1
A2 53-72 20 G major bars 53-65

D major bars 66-72

rondo theme

theme in vln II, countermelody in vln I

C 73-113 40 D major bars 73-79

e minor bars 80-83

D major bars 84-85

b minor bars 86-95

e minor bars 96-98

modulating bars 99-108

G major bars 109-113

episode 2

development section

A3 114-133 20 G major bars 114-126

D major bars 127-133

rondo theme

theme in vln I & vln II, countermelody in violas

B 134-165 32 D major bars 134-146

G major bars 147-158

b minor bars 159-165

episode 3

the same as the first B

A4 166-189 24 G major rondo theme
coda 190-223 34 G major begins with tonic pedal in the bass




The movement uses a classical rondo form, which is not a typical form c.1880 when the work was composed.  This might even be considered a neoclassical element, perhaps inspired by Tchaikovsky’s great admiration for Mozart.

The rondo theme begins in the tonic every time.

Sections A & B are always the same length.

Section B is in the same key each time.

Section C modulates more than any other section.

There is a simple tonal scheme that keeps coming back to the tonic G.

Modulations are mainly to nearly related keys.

There are some variations in texture in repetitions of the rondo theme.

Barry Mitchell

3 Comments leave one →
  1. B.Hopman permalink
    December 6, 2011 8:07 pm

    Is there an analysis of the form or schedule of part 1: Andante non troppo – Allegro Moderato – Andante non troppo?
    B. Hopman

    • December 17, 2011 5:09 pm

      Unfortunately I haven’t made one, and offhand I don’t know of where one is available.

    • January 10, 2012 5:18 pm

      I don’t know where to find one, and haven’t done a written one, but it’s a simple type 1 sonata ( with a slow introduction, which is unusually repeated at the end. In fact the most notable thing about it, is the fact that there’s nothing to note! Simple structure, simply executed. Even the transition is completely unchanged in the recapitulation!

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