Example 5e. 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
||A buildup leads to ♭VI, which is then prolonged as a German sixth throughout most of the extended cadenza; note the pair of enharmonic resolutions as dominant seventh to the ♭II realm, prior to the appearance of the cadential 6/4 near its conclusion! — The opening statement of Artôt’s motive (as Ger6th) resolves to the Neapolitan B minor, where a series of rising chromatic sequences eventually arrive at a delightful setting of the “reminiscence” theme in C major, suggesting a possible sleigh ride through the Russian snows. The return to the original Ger6th G♭ and more expressive setting of Artôt’s motive is first rudely interrupted and then completely replaced by disturbing and turbulent octaves gestures that grow in intensity, suggesting that the former fond recollections are now increasingly clouded by her subsequent falseness and elopement. These intrusions grow in frequency and violence until they eventually overshadow her motive altogether. Following their climactic apex, the piano concludes with several more “resigned” settings of her acronym over 6/4 and dominant harmonies.