Tchaikovsky as the Author of Piano Arrangements of His Own Compositions


With piano arrangements as an integral part of the musical culture of the 19th century, Tchaikovsky was associated for all his life. A large part of the composer’s legacy consists of arrangements for piano in 2 and 4 hands of his own compositions and works by other authors. But if Tchaikovsky made the latter ones mainly due to various external circumstances, he always paid special attention to the arrangements of his own compositions. The circle of musicians who enjoyed the composer’s confidence in this respect was very small and with time steadily narrowed. Tchaikovsky tried to make piano arrangements himself, despite the constant complaints about the imperfection of the transposition as a form of representation of the orchestral work and various difficulties in creating it. In total more than 40 of his own compositions have been arranged for piano by the composer. In addition to a certain stage in the history of the works themselves, the arrangements also became part of Tchaikovsky’s pianistic heritage. The composer invariably insisted on the creative nature of piano arrangements. In the proposed paper the four hands piano arrangements of three orchestral suites are considered in detail as examples of Tchaikovsky’s approach.