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

Vivaldi - "Spring" (La primavera) from the "Four Seasons", Concerto No. 1 in E major, Op. 8, RV 269

Nicolas Poussin’s painting depicts a green scenery with a couple sitting on the grass
Nicolas Poussin’s painting depicts spring, perfectly rendering the atmosphere of the season just like
Vivaldi’s Four-Seasons music.


I. Allegro

"Springtime is upon us.
The birds celebrate her return with festive song,
and murmuring streams are softly caressed by the breezes.
Thunderstorms, those heralds of Spring, roar, casting their dark mantle over heaven.
Then they die away to silence,
and the birds take up their charming songs once more."

“Spring has arrived and the birds welcome it by singing”, Vivaldi writes. The inaugural Allegro features a cool and cheerful melody. Soloists and violins mimic the singing of birds with trills. Some phrases bring to mind a stream and a gentle breeze, while a vigorous tremor, fast scales and a small rushing solo indicate a storm.

II. Largo e pianissimo sempre

"On the flower strewn meadow, with leafy branches rustling overhead,
the goat-heard sleeps, his faithful dog beside him."

The second part, Largo, which is a long, tender melody for solo accompanied by strings, paints the peaceful scene of a shepherd with his dog, half asleep under a few trees.


III. Allegro

"Led by the festive sound of rustic bagpipes, nymphs and shepherds
lightly dance beneath the brilliant canopy of spring."

In contrast, the final Allegro, is a calm “Country dance” in which the soloist plays with the orchestra, while at the same time is leading it.





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