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

Camille Saint-Saëns - The Carnival of the Animals (Le Carnaval des animaux) - Part 1

Camille Saint-Saëns wrote this satirical and entertaining suite in 1886 for himself and his friends exclusively. It was played only once in a close private circle, and Saint-Saëns did not allow it to be performed in public while he was alive. Either he believed that the work was not of particular value or perhaps he considered it unworthy of a composer at the top of his career. 

Whatever the reason, the score remained untouched for 30 years and was only published in 1922.

I. Introduction and Royal March of the Lion

The fibrillation of piano chords and the emerging string phrases of this "magnificent zoological imagination" define the Introduction and Royal March of the Lion. As the music grows, the excitement intensifies until everything stops abruptly with a final bow of the orchestra. The pianos play a rhythmic fanfare and a slow string melody finally announces the arrival of the Lion. Even his terrible roar is heard - low on the piano and later on strings.


II. Hens and Roosters

The hens cheerfully sing, noisy and carving in Hens and Roosters in high tone and complement the rooster's resonant laity on the piano and high on the clarinet.


III. Hémiones (Wild Donkeys Swift Animals)

The fast, impetuous scales of the piano in Hémiones mimic the brutal toil of the amateur pianist.


IV. Tortoises

In Tortoises, the double bass plays a slow version of Offenbach's Can Can.



V. The Elephant

Bass also appears on The Elephant, while the poor creature struggles to dance in the swirls of a waltz.



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