Michael Thrift

Throwback Thursdays: Firebird, Tchaikovsky, and me

Conductor Michael Thrift explores the music of Tchaikovsky which he last conducted in Firebird’s filmed concert in November 2020…

The beautiful Serenade for Strings in C major Op.48 by Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky 1840-1893 (pictured) was performed as part of From London to St Petersburg. 

This was filmed at St George’s Hanover Square on Thursday 19 November 2020 with London Firebird Orchestra.

Tchaikovsky had rediscovered Mozart’s Magic Flute in the summer of 1880. He said that the Serenade, written shortly after, was inspired by Mozart’s graceful style, in particular in the elegant first movement, though the music is very original and not mere Mozart imitation.

The second movement, a waltz, is a popular piece in its own right and contains one of the composer’s best-loved melodies.

i Pezzo in forma di sonatina: Andante non troppo Allegro moderato

ii Valse: Moderato – Tempo di valse

iii Élégie: Larghetto elegiaco

iv Finale (Tema russo): Andante – Allegro con spirito

The deeply felt third movement elegy begins with the same ascending scale that launched the waltz tune.

The finale draws on two folk songs, one featuring in the introduction, and the other as the main theme in the allegro.

Watch the complete concert: Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings starts at 46.39

B Minor With Love

Conductor Michael Thrift
Cello Aleksei Kiseliov

Thursday 10 June 2021
St.George’s Hanover Square 

This concert will feature Dvorak Cello Concerto in B minor, the world premiere of new work from the winner of the Firebird Young Musician of the Year, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony no. 6.