Troika Ride from ‘The Seasons: November’ (Tchaikovsky), 3.05

Troika Ride (orch. September 2008) is the month of “November” in Tchaikovsky 12-month piano solo cycle “The Seasons”.  A favorite encore piece of Sergei Rachmaninoff in concerts, this work has always had a popular following as it vividly depicts the festive winter fun of a sleigh ride through the Russian snow, much like Stravinsky’s Petrouska’s Shrovetide Fair.  

The subtitles, from the commissioner for these piano pieces, were kept by Tchaikovsky and reads as:

“In your loneliness do not look at the road, and do not rush out after the troika.
Suppress at once and forever the fear of longing in your heart.”

Scored in E major, this piece for only orchestra (not piano with orchestra) is also re-orchestrated in a variety in C major.