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


The harpsichord has been sounding for about six hundred years. It's a keyboard instrument, but its strings are stimulated in a nocturnal way and not by hammering like on the piano. The sound produced is characteristic and easily recognized.

When the harpsichord first appeared, it immediately became beloved and its reputation spread throughout Europe. With the begining of the 16th century it became extremely popular and the composers used it in almost every organic combination. It served more as an accompaniment, providing the harmonious substrate, rather than as a solo instrument.

The body of the harpsichord has the shape of a wing. For each note there are two or more strings - the performer can choose how many are used at a time, allowing the instrument to produce loud and soft sounds. Some later instruments used a mechanism to change the volume, opening and closing some grilles on the body of the instrument, allowing the sound to strengthen. Usually the harpsichords have two, sometimes three, keyboards that each produce a different toss quality.

Around the end of the 18th century, the harpsichord began to lose its popularity as the piano developed. For about a hundred years it remained forgotten. In this century, however, the harpsichord knows a kind of rebirth.

How the harpsichord works

The operation of the keyboards is mechanical. When the performer presses a key, its opposite end (inside the instrument) lifts a pen attached to a thin elongated wood or plastic, the yoke, which hits the string.

An escape mechanism allows the yoke to return to its original position without re-strikeing the string. A mechanism also adapted to the yoke, moves a pillow dressed in felt, the silencer, which touches the string, interrupts its tone and stops the sound of the note.

The pen, originally made of feather or leather, is now made of plastic.