Example 5k–l. Unusual features of Tchaikovsky’s B minor Piano Concerto (1874), which may have provided the bases for Nikolai Rubinstein’s negative criticisms, followed by possible “programmatic” explanations relating to his romantic relationship with Artôt.

I. First movement: 5a | 5b | 5c | 5d | 5e | 5f   II. Second movement: 5g | 5h | 5i | 5j   III. Third movement: 5k | 5l

k.    The curious quasi-rondo design with a “trepak” tutti transition and only one lyrical episode. — Following the musical reminiscence of Artôt during the second movement, her acronym now disappears in the Finale, and only Tchaikovsky’sversion remains in disguised form of the single episodic theme.


l. The concerto ends with an “apotheosis” tonic-major statement of the episode theme, following a final dominant buildup and brief “cadenza.” — Tchaikovsky seems to be suggesting that he has finally liberated himself from the oppressive memories of his tragic affair with Artôt, since it is now HIS theme alone that concludes the work.