Menuetto capriccioso (Weber)

Tchaikovsky Research

The Menuetto capriccioso (TH 167 ; ČW 337) [1] is the third movement of Weber's Piano Sonata No. 2 in A-flat major (Op. 39), arranged for orchestra by Tchaikovsky in 1863.


Scored for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets (in B-flat), 2 bassoons + 4 horns (in A-flat, D-flat) + violins I, violins II, violas, cellos, and double basses.

Movements and Duration

There is one movement (the third in Weber's original sonata): Presto assai (A-flat major, 204 bars), lasting around 5 minutes in performance.


This arrangement was made while Tchaikovsky was a student in Anton Rubinstein's instrumentation classes at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. A note by Tchaikovsky, on a loose sheet with the manuscript score, reads "First conservatory works in 1863", although it is not certain whether that note relates specifically to this arrangement, or to his other conservatory exercises [2].


The Menuetto capriccioso was published for the first time in 1967 in volume 58 of Tchaikovsky's Complete Collected Works, edited by Irina Iordan.


Tchaikovsky's manuscript score is now preserved in the Klin House-Museum Archive (a1, No. 133) [3].

Related Works

The Piano Sonata No. 2 in A-flat major, Op. 39 (J. 199), by Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826), was written and first published in 1816.

External Links

Notes and References

  1. Entitled "Movement III of the Second Piano Sonata, Op. 39" in ČW.
  2. See ČW, p. 683.
  3. On the first page of the manuscript is Modest Tchaikovsky's note (in French): "Scherzo tiré de la sonate 2, op. 39".