The beginning of this piano concerto is so famous. I remember when my nan used to watch quiz shows on Challenge TV, there was recurring advert for a classical music collection and this beginning would always play when Tchaikovsky appeared on screen. I think it would always be followed by ‘Morning Mood’ by Grieg (I’ll get to that eventually when I listen to Peer Gynt).
Given how the beginning is all brass and string, it’s difficult to immediately see how it would become a piano concerto. Then suddenly in comes the piano and my word doesn’t pianist Martha Argerich do amazing work with this. It’s one of those concertos that I think most people would know, although it is more than the pomposity of the beginning – a beginning that makes up the most of the piece. It’s a good one, but I do miss the whimsy that I hear in his ballets.