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

Hector Berlioz - Events in brief

A caricature of Berlioz, whose music was considered modern and unusual.


1803 Hector Berlioz was born in 11 October in the commune of La Côte-Saint-André, France.
1815 He falls in love with his neighbor's 18-year-old daughter, Estelle Dubœuf.
1820 He's going to Paris for medical studies.
1826 He is admitted to the Paris Conservatory.
1830 First performance of the "Symphonie fantastique", wins the "Rome Prize" and goes to Italy.
1833 He's marrying Irish actress Harriet Smithson.
1834 His only son Louis is born.
1846 First visit to London.
1854 Harriet dies, marries his long-time mistress Marie Recio.
1863 First performance of the opera "Les Troyens".
1864 Marie dies, renews contact with Estelle, who is now 67 years old.
1869 Dies March 8 in Paris.

  • When Berlioz learned that Camille was marrying someone else, he vowed to go back to Paris and kill Camille and her mother, who had written him the news. He procured a maid's uniform to disguise himself and a pair of pistols to complete his plans.
  • In 1834, the great violinist Paganini commissioned Berlioz to compose a solo viola work, but lost interest before it was completed - and Berlioz lost his reward. Later that year, Paganini listened to the work he had rejected at a Berlioz's concerto and, full of remorse, sent the composer 20,000 francs - money more than two years' wages.

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