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I Know That Tune - Tchaikovsky - Piano Concerto No.1 First Movement

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posted on 10/02/2015

You may have heard it many times before, but never knew where it was from, what it was called, or who composed it. The Piano Concerto No.1 First Movement has a distinct section that has been used again and again in popular culture. Find out the origins of this memorable piece of royalty free classical music.

The Piano Concerto No.1 First Movement was composed by Russian composer, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky between November 1874 and February 1875 and revised a few times until the final piece was published in December 1888 and has become one his most popular works.

An interesting fact behind the introduction to the piece is the concerto's first theme, which follows the famous introduction, is actually based on a melody that Tchaikovsky heard performed by blind beggar-musicians at a market in Kamenka (near Kiev).

The most popular and prominent part of the piece is the first 0.50 seconds which has been hugely popularised worldwide including use, most recently by Russian energy supplier, Gazprom in their 2013 European Champions League television advert, below:



It was also widely popularised way back in the 1970s featuring in a Monty Python sketch, parodying Sviatoslav Richter, a Russian pianist whom was also famous for playing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1 First Movement. See the Python Sviatoslav Richter and Rita Sketch below:



This piece was also further popularized among many Americans when it was used as the theme to Orson Welles's famous radio series, The Mercury Theatre on the Air. The Concerto came to be associated with Welles throughout his career and was often played when introducing him as a guest on both radio and television:

Browse more royalty free classical music or more pieces by Tchaikovsky.

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