Tschaikovsky - 1812 Overture, op. 49

Tchaikovsky's Overture 1812 expresses Russia's nationalist spirit for the Russians' magnificent victory over Napoleon. In 1880, when he was writing the charming Serenade for Strings, Tchaikovsky undertook to compose a "ceremonial introduction" for an exhibition of industrial art in Moscow. As a theme of his introduction he chose Napoleon's Russia Campaign, which ended with the great victory of the Russian Army. At first the composer intended the introduction to be for outdoor performance and felt that it should be "very loud and noisy". Since then the introduction has become his most famous and most popular concert work. The "1812 Overture" is in fact an introduction to a concerto, in other words is a stand-alone work of orchestral music and not an introduction to opera or a more extensive work. The play describes the invasion of Russia by Napoleon's troops in 1812 and their retreat and defeat in the winter of the same year. Despite

Bedřich Smetana - Introduction

One only has to watch carefully the route of the Vltava River (Moldau), as it is described thoughtfully and spontaneously with the sounds of the homonymous symphonic poem by Bedřich Smetana, in order to understand the musical philosophy of the Bohemian composer, which was also a philosophy of life.

Smetana proposes with his work a seductive model of programmatic music, a fair model of nationalist opinion and a bright model of coupling words and traditional music at the same time.

Smetana's symphonic poem Vltava is certainly the most intimate example of the composer's musical writing, but it has condensed and concentrated all the structural characteristics that are detected in his works.

The rhythmic energy that emerges from every breath of his works is assisted by music gentle, emotional, witty. Rhythm and melody, having deep roots in the tradition of bohemian land, creatively stimulate the imagination and provoke the immediate emotion of the listener.

At a time when every inch of European land is looking for its national identity, the humble servant of music Bedřich Smetana is transformed into a sound-benefactor of his homeland, and establishes one of the most important national school.

Methodical, modest but also inventive at the same time, he will rid his country's music of the shackles of of Austro-German domination and cry out the right to free national musical meditation.

(George Monemvasitis)