The longest and best known of his four orchestral suites, SUITE NO. 3 in G Major, Op. 55 was written and orchestrated between April and July 1884. Unoriginally uncertain if his new large scale work would be best approached as a symphony or a piano concerto, Tchaikovsky eventually settled on a third orchestra suite after a walk in his garden on April day. Originally intended to have five movements, the intended first movement caused the composer so much consternation that he eventually rejected it altogether and opted for a four-movement suite instead, though he used the material from the rejected first movement - "Contrastes" - in his CONCERT FANTASIA for piano and orchestra, which he began while still orchestrating SUITE NO. 3. The suite was received warmly by concertgoers at the January 24th, 1885 premiere in Saint Petersburg, Russia, under the baton of Hans von Bülow. Following the premiere, Tchaikovsky wrote to his patroness that "reality far exceeded my expectations. I have never before experienced such a triumph. I saw that then entire mass of the audience was moved, and grateful to me. These moments are the finest adornment of the artist's life. Thanks to these it is worth living and laboring." In 1970, co-founder and founding choreographer of the New York City Ballet, George Balanchine, created a ballet set to the music of SUITE NO. 3. Instrumentation: 3(3dPicc).2+EH.2.2: 18.104.22.168: Timp.Perc(2-3): Hp: Str(9-8-7-6-5).