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

Saint-Saëns - Fantaisie No. 1 for Organ in E-flat Major

As a student, Saint-Saëns won several awards for his performance on the church organ, so it is not surprising that at the same time he composed music for the instrument. The Fantasy in E-flat Major was composed in 1857, at the time when the composer was an organist at the Saint Mary's Church in Paris. Although an early work, it is an excellent example of the brilliant style of Saint-Saëns.

A low restrained chord introduces the sweet sound of the opening melody. The lively, but almost airy rhythm, shows that this piece is intended to pleasure, since all solemnity or grandeur is missing from here. The melody is repeated higher and a second theme is presented. 

The second part is in stark contrast to the first - a resonant initial chord introduces an evolving march. The music here rather gets serious and becomes academic - the melody sounds first by itself, then repetitive and pretentious. The composition ends with an extended version of the original theme.


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