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

Ravel - Le Tombeau de Couperin

Ravel has been an expert in combination of new and old musical forms. In "Le Tombeau de Couperin" he perfects his technique for extremely personal reasons.

Maurice Ravel drew inspiration from the music of the past and from his childhood hearings. In Le Tombeau de Couperin (The Tomb of Couperin), he uses his talent to express his personal despair at the loss of many of his close friends during the Great War of 1914-18.

The composer had personally experienced the horrors of life in the trenches and realized that war had permanently changed the face of the world. In Le Tombeau de Couperin, which he composed between 1914-17, he returns to the happy moments of a permanently lost past.

The title refers honorably to the death of the French composer François Couperin (1668-1733), although Ravel clarified that the work was more of a general expression of respect for 18th-century French music. Some parts of the six-part work - each dedicated to a friend killed in the war - are written in the characteristic, polite style of the 18th century. In the orchestral variation, Ravel introduces a musette - a variation of the 18th-century ascaulus - into the project's Menuet, to enhance plausibility.

Cover of the first printed edition 
designed by Ravel himself
Looking to the future 

Le Tombeau de Couperin is not, however, a lament for the lost past. Several of the six parts of the project are vivid and looking to the future. In particular, Prelude and Menuet bring old dance forms to life, while the third, Forlane, is serene and bold.

The play, originally written for piano, was orchestrated by Ravel in 1919. The orchestral variation reinforces the emotions of the original work, with tender and moving dialogues between strings and wooden pnests.

Ravel himself described The Tomb of Couperin as a memorial for all the French lost in the Great War.