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

Gershwin - Introduction

George Gershwin's musical journey has been unique in every aspect: Tin Pan Alley - Broadway - Hollywood - concert halls - lyrical theatres. Everywhere with a great success. No composer has enjoyed such recognition, in so many different fields and in such a short period of time.

As a songwriter, Gershwin appeared in the history of American music at the right time. As a composer he was able to ensure direct acceptance into the folk music of his land, giving it an artistic form.

Gershwin had in his mind the rules and technique of Western European music, but at his heart, the harmonys and rhythms of the American South. His imagination was nourished by the idioms of an original folk music. He was one of the first to understand the universality of its character. He borrowed from, bold harmonics and a transparent melancholy, which only counterpart in Schubert's songs detected.

His music is full of wondrous mixed melodies and rhythms. Unexpected chords succeed each other with incredible tossing precision. And his most profound musical reflections are pulsating with the incomparable power of truth and unpretentious inspiration. It is no coincidence that with his opera Porgy and Bess he offered humanity the most artful of the folk and the most folk of the artful works of a great art.

(George Monemvasitis)