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


Polka is a dance of Czech origin and has a lively 2/4 rhythm. It appeared in the early 18th century in rural areas and then spread over the course of the century in Europe and America, about at the same time as the waltz.

Very lively, the polka is characterized by a typical half step that closes every meter, giving the movement of the couple who dances it a graceful svelte.

Very famous polkas of J.Strauss II are Tritsch-Tratsch and Pizzicato.

An also well known polka is from Smetana's comic opera The Bartered Bride.

Jaromir Weinberger's Polka from Schwanda, the Bagpiper is also a very well known polka.

Polka's popularity declined in the early 1900s with the emergence of American dances at the rate of contrattempo. Polka howerer, retains a prominent place in the world repertoire.