Tchaikovsky: Serenade for Strings, Souvenir de Florence, Andante cantabile – United Strings of Europe, Julian Azkoul

January 9, 2023, 9:00 am

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The United Strings of Europe and their director Julian Azkoul have chosen to devote their latest project to a single composer: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. They open with the composer’s Serenade, a tribute to Mozart’s divertimentos, but infused with Tchaikovsky’s characteristic pathos and melancholy. The other works are arrangements tailor-made for the ensemble by Azkoul. Composed following a stay in Florence, the Sextet is brooding in temperament and, despite its title, arguably more Russian than Italian in character. Like the Serenade, it makes use of classical forms and devices but also includes passages evoking traditional Russian music.