'Wrong' note in Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 corrected

Pianist Stephen Hough has uncovered a mistake in the second movement of the manuscript, corrected in blue pencil on the score.

Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto manuscript

Pianist Stephen Hough has uncovered a mistake in Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1, 138 years after the work was finished. After looking at the manuscript online in the Berlin Staatsbibliothek, Stephen noticed a 'wrong note' F had been changed to a B flat in blue pencil.

Initially, Stephen believed the correction to be in Tchaikovsky's writing , describing the revelation as 'one of the most exciting musical discoveries' of his life. It's since emerged that the manuscript was a copyist's manuscript , prepared for Hans von Bülow as he performed the concerto throughout the world, and the correction may have been made by Bülow himself.

Before seeing the manuscript, Stephen cited a number of reasons for wanting to change the note in the score: the theme appears a number of times throughout the concerto, but only once with the F in the flute part. The rogue F also creates a clash between the G flat in the strings and changes the symmetry of the theme, which spans five notes up and five notes down in the four-bar phrase.

 

Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto manuscript

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Tchaikovsky