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

Gershwin - An American in Paris

In the 1920s Paris exerted great charm on many Americans, particularly writers, artists and musicians.

George Gershwin and his fellow songwriter Cole Porter didn't escape its charm. The latter wrote several songs praising the city, while Gershwin composed his most ambitious orchestral work for Paris - An American in Paris.

It was first presented at New York's Carnegie Hall in 1928, by the famous Walter Johannes Damrosch's direction.

Twenty years later the play inspired a great musical film, starring Gene Kelly.

A symphonic poem

This work is a "symphonic poem", which recalls images and sounds from Paris, according to Gershwin's personal experiences.

A small vivid melody played by violins, with subtle harmonies on the substrate, introduces the American visitor. The piercing sound of the old horns of the Parisian taxis intensifies the sense of the noise of the boulevards. A quiet, thoughtful section, with finer harmonies in wood instruments and strings, invokes a sense of the city, perhaps a night under the starry sky.

The music rediscovers the rhythm, before Gershwin introduces another of his delightful melodies. A polite rhythmic figure, played first by a trumpet solo, in an obvious blues style.

A new, carefree melody also played by a solo trumpet, eventually takes the music back to the lively opening theme and them to the apparent ending of the "sad note".