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

Beethoven - Fidelio Overture, Op. 72b

Beethoven's only opera "Fidelio" - the myth of a political prisoner, Florestan, saved by his wife Leonore - had a complicated history.


The premiere of the opera was given in Vienna in 1805 (the same time as the Heroic Symphony), entitled Leonore.

Beethoven then revised the play and presented the opera again the following year, but soon withdrew this new form.

For these first versions, as well as for another project that never materialized, he composed the overtures Leonore no. 1, 2 and 3. In 1814, Beethoven revised the opera again, changing its structure from three to two acts and including this new introduction.

The opera was presented in its final form under the title Fidelio and was particularly successful.

Compared to the earlier versions of Leonora No. 3, a work of symphonic dimensions and high drama, Fidelio's Overture is a more accurate and more "professional" work.

It begins with the full orchestra interpreting one of these powerful lyre little motifs that Beethoven often uses as a musical "building material" for the whole part. This impressive exhivition of the theme is highlighted with a slow Adagio introduction, where sluggish horns and wood instruments stand out.

The music becomes more rushed and proceeds effortlessly to the central Allegro part of the introduction, based on the same opening motif of three notes, which perfomrs the solo horn firts and then the clarinet. A second musical theme consists of a more vivid call to the horn and then to the wood instruments, followed by slightly leaping phrases in the strings. Some robust iterations of another laconic phrase lead the melody to the short central development section and then to the recap.

A brief return of the melody follows the slow introduction, which bestows its place in an accelerated coda (Presto), where the pattern of three notes is interpreted with intensity to the last almost measure.




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