One of the most enigmatic, if heartbreaking, "salon" piano pieces by Tchaikovsky. The composer dedicated it to Belgian opera star soprano Désirée Artôt, who came to Russia to tour. He has fallen in love with her, though unclear - if with her persona or her music talent. He has proposed her marriage, she refused, preferring touring life and lights of big stage to being a housewife of a promising young composer. She left Tchaikovsky and went on to marry a baritone in her opera company.
Did Tchaikovsky ever forgive? He said he got over it, but this music says otherwise. 🙄
To listen to this - and other marvelous pieces by Tchaikovsky, 10-CD set by Decca has been just released.