Listening to Tchaikovsky is always like letting down the dams in one's heart and allowing emotions to flow freely.
The force, the power, the speed of the music carries one through a range of moods and feelings, traveling as fast as ice carried by the river Don during the last days of winter.
Love, passion, pain, longing, excitement, expectation, and despair change and combine.
It is a fantastic experience to be allowed to feel so much, in so little time.
The 'Souvenir de Florence' commemorates Tchaikovsky's time in Italy. He was happy and elevated in the - compared with Russia - relaxed and light-hearted atmosphere of Italy, inspired by the historical ruins, the warm weather and the vivid public life. According to some of his biographers, he also found love there, and the sadder, gripping tones in 'Souvenir de Florence' refer to the painful goodbye and the longing for the beloved.
It is an intimate piece of chamber music. I've heard it last performed in Oxford at the Holywell Music Room. I felt moved, touched, and also refreshed.
If you haven't yet listened to it, I can warmly recommend you this short piece.