Tchaikovsky intended the first movement to be an imitation of Mozart's style, and it was based on the form of the classical sonatina, with a slow introduction. The stirring 36-bar Andante introduction is marked "sempre marcatissimo" and littered with double-stopping in the violins and violas, forming towering chordal structures. This introduction is restated at the end of the movement, and then reappears, transformed, in the coda of the fourth movement, tying the entire work together.

Date of composition 1880
Premiered 1881, October 30th in Russia, Saint Petersburg
Type Serenade
Tonality C Major
Catalogue Op. 48
Approx. duration 30 minutes
Instruments String Orchestra
Autotranslations beta Piotr Ilitch Tchaïkovski: Serenade for Strings en do majeur, Op. 48
Pëtr Il'ič Čajkovskij: Serenade for Strings in do maggiore, Op. 48
Pjotr Iljitsch Tschaikowski: Serenade for Strings C-dur, Op. 48