Tchaikovsky's musical education at St. Petersburg was influenced heavily by Western and especially German music. He did not become a member of The Five, although he did use Russian folk song material on occasion. The 2nd Symphony gets its nickname from 3 Ukranian folk songs Tchaikovsky used in the Symphony.
The Symphony is in 4 movements:
- Andante sostenuto - Allegro vivo (Slow and sustained - Lively with vigor) A solo horn plays the song, Down By Mother Volga
- Andantino marziale, quasi moderato ( Medium fast march, kind of at a walking pace) He quotes the song, Spin, Oh My Spinner in the central section of this movement.
- Scherzo, Allegro molto vivace ( Very fast and lively) No actual folk song quoted, but his the quality of a folk song.
- Finale, Moderato assai - Allegro Vivo (Very moderately - Lively with vigor) The folk song The Crane is the basis for a set of variations.