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

Claude Debussy - Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun

Waslav Nijinsky and Flore Revalles in Afternoon of a Faun.

When this instrumental work was first presented in 1894, it provoked strong criticism, that it has no form and does not follow any known tradition. It has a dreamy quality, where the melodies meet in a perpetual, carefree movement.

This work is Debussy's first characteristic and important orchestral work. The inspiration was a poem by his fellow poet Stèphane Mallarmè which describes the atmosphere and the setting of a mythical faun that falls asleep and dreams in a clearing of the forest, on a warm, drowning summer afternoon.

It begins with a long solo of the flute, an instrument that Claude Debussy loved because for him it subjected the distant and lost mythical world. The inaugural melody of the flute or parts of it, revert throughout the play, played alternately by strings and wood wind instruments. The volume of music fluctuates without ever disturbing the basic mood of warmth and chastity.

Also listen to the short harmonic section that gently play the horns. This kind of composing distinguished Debussy as one of the most inspiring orchestrators. He mixes the tonal qualities of the various instruments, as the painter mixes the colors in his palette.