Carnival (February) from ‘The Seasons’ (Tchaikovsky), 2.58

“Carnival” from ‘The Seasons: February’ (orch. July 2007) is an orchestration of the month of “February” from Tchaikovsky’s 12-month character pieces set from the eponymous piano cycle, “The Seasons”, originally published in French as “Les Saisons”.  Each piece from the set is a different month of the year and is heard sometimes individually as Troika (November – which I’ve also orchestrated in both E major and C major) and Barcarolle (June) and Autumn (October – which I’ve also orchestrated for Piano and Orchestra).  

This movement, February in D major, was enormously popular when it first was written.  This orchestration makes it ever more a fiery and spirited work, and vividly textured to be as animated as possible.  It creates a wild ride for this “Mardi Gras” inspired carnival to musically pivot through key centers in a tumultuous crash of blissful and quite wonderful music from a true master composer.