Tchaikovsky: June (Barcarolle) from ‘The Seasons’


Tchaikovsky’s June (from ‘The Seasons’) is subtitled Barcarolle (a Venetian gondolier’s folk song). Beautiful and melancholic music for wind quintet.

  • Instruments : Fl. Ob. Cl.(in Bb) Hn. Bsn.
  • Difficulty : C – approx. ABRSM Grade 5
  • Duration : 5’30
  • ISMN : 979-0-708088-23-3
  • Portus Press reference : PPQ8
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The Seasons, Op. 37b (published with the French title Les Saisons) is a set of twelve short pieces for solo piano by the Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.   They were written in 1876, shortly after Tchaikovsky had completed the orchestration of his ballet, Swan Lake, and published in installments (much like a Charles Dickens novel) in the monthly music periodical, Nuvelliste.  Tchaikovsky’s commission helped the composer make ends meet in the days before he met his wealthy patron Nadezhda von Meck.  He was evidently pleased with the arrangement, saying that, “I am most grateful for your courtesy and readiness to pay me such a high fee.”

Each piece represents a different month of the year and was accompanied by a short poetic epigraph.  June, the sixth in the series, is subtitled Barcarolle (a Venetian gondolier’s folk song) and its epigraph (by the radical Russian poet, Alekseyy Pleshcheyev) translates as “Let’s walk to the shore, where the sea will gently kiss our feet, Stars with secret sadness will shine overhead.”

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