Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No.1 Analysis


For the benefit of all pianists learning this work, we present to you a concise and easy to use analysis of Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto 1:

First Movement (Andante non troppo e molto maestoso)

Form: Sonata form. Bb minor. 


Bar 1-3: Introduction Theme 1 in Bb minor. Three declamatory notes played by the Horns.
Bars 7-16: Introduction Theme 2 in Db major, played by the strings. Chord accompaniments played by the piano.
Bars 24 – 32: A decorated Introduction Theme 2 played by the piano, accompanied by pizzicato strings.
Bars 33-36: Augmentation of a fragment from Introduction Theme 2.
Bars 36-39: Descending sequence of triplets, based on a fragment of Introduction Theme 2.
Bars 40- 47: Transition. Introduction Theme 1 is played, along with ascending sequences based on the diminished chord.
Bar 48: Cadenza. And the return of Introduction Theme 1 in Eb minor.
Bar 60-77: Introduction Theme 2 in Db major played by the strings.
Bars 78-107: Transition into Exposition.



Bar 108: Theme 1 in Bb minor. Based on Russian folk music.
Bar 108-113: Ascending sequence of Theme 1
Bars 114-129: Theme 1 (Part 1) played by the Piano.
Bars 130-133: Transition
Bars 134-159: Theme 1 (Part 2) played by Woodwinds and Strings. Piano accompanies with broken chords.
Bars 160-167: Transition
Bars 168-183: Theme 1 (Part 3) transformed into octaves and played by the Piano.
Bars 179 and 181: Fragment of Theme 2.
Bars 184-191: Theme 2 in Bb minor.
Bars 196-202: Introduction Theme 1 in C minor, between right hand and left hand.
Bar 204-208: Theme 3 in Ab major.
Bar 211-217: Transition from Theme 3 to Theme 2.
Bar 218-239: Theme 2, decorated with chordal accompaniment. Introduction Theme 1 intertwined in the piano part. (eg. Bar 221)
Bars 240- 266: Transition in C minor.
Bar 266: Theme 3 in Ab major. Coda.



Bar 321-359: Section 1. Theme 1 and Theme 3 intertwined together. Db major, but with lots of chromatic notes.
Bars 360-386: Transition. F minor.
Bar 387-441: Section 2. Based on Theme 2. Eb minor. Triplet rhythm.
Bar 442-447: Section 3. Theme 3 in B major.



Bars 448-449: Theme 1 in C# minor. Played by Woodwinds and Strings. 
Bars 450, 451, 454 and 456: Fragments from Theme 3.
Bar 466-480: Transition. Bb minor.
Bar 481-500: Theme 1 transformed into octaves and played by the Piano. Additional bars have been added, compared to the exposition. (bars 487-490)
Bar 496 and 498:  Fragment of Theme 2.
Bar 501: Theme 2 in C minor. Bars 513-521 played by the orchestra (this part is played by the piano in the exposition)
Bar 522: Theme 2, decorated with chordal accompaniment. Introduction Theme 1 intertwined in the piano part. (eg. Bar 525)
Bars 534-567: Transition. (Bars 534-552 are new, compared to the exposition)
Bar 568: Cadenza
Bar 642:Theme 3. Bb major. Coda. 
Bars 650-656: Repeated at bars 658-664
Bars 680-685: Left hand rhythm is derived from Theme 2.

Second Movement (Andantino semplice)

Form: Ternary form (A-B-A. ) Db major. 


Bar 5: Theme 1A in Db major. First played by the Flute in bars 5-12, then by the piano from bars 13-20
Bars 20- 25: Theme 1B in F major. First played by the woodwind and strings, followed by the piano.
Bars 25-33: Theme 1C in D major. First played by the woodwinds, followed by the piano.
Bars 33-37: Fragment of Theme 1 played by the woodwinds and Brass.
Bars 37-41: Transition
Bars 42-58: Theme 1A. Db major. Played by the cello in bars 42-49 and Oboe in bars 50-58.

B (3 parts in a-b-a) 

Bars 59-80:  Fragments of Theme 1B used in bars 59-62 and similar passages. F major.

Bars 80-98: Theme 2 in D major. 
Bars 98-114: Theme 2. Bb major. Different accompaniment in the piano part.

Bars 114-145: Fragments of Theme 1B used in Bars 114-116 and similar passages. Cadenza-like section in Bars 135-145.


Bars 146-153: Theme 1A in Db major. 
Bars 154-170: Coda 


Third Movement (Allegro con fuoco)

Form: Sonata-Rondo. Bb minor. 

Bars 1-5: Introduction in Bb minor. Played by the orchestra.


Bars 5-44: Theme A in Bb minor. Played by the piano. Modulates to Db major (bar 21), Bb minor (bar 26) and Gb major (bar 37.)
Bars 45-56: Transition in F major.


Bars 56-79: Theme B in Db major.
Bars 80-88: Transition in F major. Modulates to Bb minor (bar 85)


Bar 89-101: Theme A in Bb minor. Modulates to F major (bar 97)


Bars 101-114: Theme C. Starts in F major, then modulates through various juxtapositions of major and minor keys.


Bars 114-121: Theme A in Ab major.
Bar 122-133: Transition in G major.


Bar 133-149: Theme B in Eb major. 
Bar 150-158: Transition in F major. Modulates to Bb minor (bar 155) , Db major (bar 167) and Bb minor (bar 175).


Bar 159-183: Theme A in Bb minor.  
Bar 183-214: Transition Part 1. Virtuosic passage of scales and arpeggios modulating through various keys.
Bar 214-243: Transition Part 2. A  combination of Themes A, B and C in a dramatic sequence leading into the Cadenza.

Bar 243-251: Cadenza
Bar 252-301: Coda. Bb major. 



Orchestral Accompaniment of Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1, tempo matched to Barry Douglas and the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leonard Slatkin.

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