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Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6 (Pathétique) – Viola Part

Edited by Yizhak Schotten

Title: Symphony No. 6
Composer: Piotr Ilich Tchaikovsky
Instrument: Viola
Edited By: Yizhak Schotten
Instrumentation: Orchestral
Pages: 23

The viola part for Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74, (nicknamed the Pathétique) has been edited by Israeli-born Yizhak Schotten, an internationally acclaimed musician whom STRAD Magazine has called "one of America's finest viola players... a leading light of the U.S. viola establishment." Schotten's bowings, fingerings and other editorial markings have been added throughout the score.

The Pathétique, Symphony No. 6, is Tchaikovsky's final completed symphony, written in 1893 and performed that same year only nine days before his death. It was the last of Tchaikovsky's compositions premiered in his lifetime. The nickname of "Pathétique" is derived from its Russian title – loosely translated meaning "passionate" or "emotional" but also with a bit of suffering at the same time. Tchaikovsky dedicated the Pathétique Symphony to his nephew, whom he greatly admired. There are many theories on a hidden program to the symphony, even one that views the composition as Tchaikovsky's suicide note.

Like some of his previous symphonies, many see Symphony No. 6 as dealing with the concept of "Fate" and its role in life and death. As usual it contains four movements. The finale of this symphony is of particular note. After a vivacious scherzo third movement that ends with triumphant march, the fourth movement is a slow and darker-toned movement which also echoes the opening melody. Although there is a turbulent and powerful section with the full orchestra, it drops off and gives way to a B minor coda with long and low notes. Tchaikovsky's Pathétique is the only one to end in a minor key, fading away into almost complete despair. The ending could be seen as the composer's final sigh and resignation to fate.

Download and print the score today to gain access to expertly edited Tchaikovsky Pathétique Symphony No. 6 viola fingerings and bowings from Yizhak Schotten!

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Click here to preview a recording of this piece as found on Yizhak Schotten's Orchestral Excerpts CD. To purchase the CD, which includes written and spoken commentary, click on the image below.