Ukrainian classical pianist Valentina Lisitsa plays The Seasons, Op. 37a, a set of twelve short character pieces for solo piano by the Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Recorded at the Schaubühne Lindenfels Leipzig in 2016. Lisitsa also reads the poetic epigraphs contained in the Russian edition (all chosen by the publisher Nikolay Matveyevich Bernard, the editor of the St. Petersburg music magazine Nouvellist, who commissioned the pieces).
Each piece is the characteristic of a different month of the year in the northern hemisphere.
With the starting times in the video, and with translation of the poetic epigraphs.
Janvier (January) Au coin du feu (At the Fireside) (00:00)
A little corner of peaceful bliss,
the night dressed in twilight;
the little fire is dying in the fireplace,
and the candle has burned out.
Février (February): Carnaval (Carnival) (06:10)
At the lively Mardi Gras
soon a large feast will overflow.
Mars (March): Chant de l’alouette (Song of the Lark) (09:09)
The field shimmering with flowers,
the stars swirling in the heavens,
the song of the lark
fills the blue abyss.
Avril (April): Perce-neige (Snowdrop) (12:24)
The blue, pure snowdrop — flower,
and near it the last snowdrops.
The last tears over past griefs,
and first dreams of another happiness.
Mai (May): Les nuits de mai (Starlit Nights) (15:22)
What a night!
What bliss all about!
I thank my native north country!
From the kingdom of ice,
snowstorms and snow,
how fresh and clean May flies in!
Juin (June): Barcarolle (Barcarolle) (21:12)
Let us go to the shore;
there the waves will kiss our feet.
With mysterious sadness
the stars will shine down on us.
Juillet (July): Chant du faucheur (Song of the Reaper) (27:52)
Move the shoulders,
shake the arms!
And the noon wind
breathes in the face!
Août (August): La moisson (Harvest) (30:03)
The harvest has grown,
people in families cutting the tall rye down to the root!
Put together the haystacks,
music screeching all night from the hauling carts.
Septembre (September): La chasse (Hunting) (33:54)
It is time!
The horns are sounding!
The hunters in their hunting dress are mounted on their horses;
in early dawn the borzois are jumping.
(A. Pushkin, Graf Nulin)
Octobre (October): Chant d’automne (Autumn Song) (36:55)
Autumn, our poor garden is all falling down,
the yellowed leaves are flying in the wind.
(Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy)
Novembre (November): Troïka (Troika) (43:32)
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.
Décembre (December): Noël (Christmas) (47:12)
Once upon a Christmas night the girls were telling fortunes:
taking their slippers off their feet and throwing them out of the gate.
- The Seasons (Tchaikovsky) on Wikipedia
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