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

Beethoven - Egmont overture

The music in the Egmont overture is full of dynamism and melancholy, foremoing the story that will follow. This scene of the storm on Karl Anton Paul Lotz's painting "Horses in a Rainstorm" (1862) reflects the feelings depicted in the work.

Beethoven responded enthusiastically to the invitation of Vienna’s Burg Theatre to write the music of Egmont, a tragedy of the great German poet Goethe. He was pleased with this assignment for two reasons. First, because he deeply respected Goethe, and then the subject of the drama was very suited to the composer. In Goethe's story, Count Egmont - a 16th century nobleman -  of the Low Countries leads a revolution against Spanish rule to be defeated by the Duke of Alba, suppressor of the revolution. Beethoven's stage music, written in 1810, consists of an introduction, entr' actes (music that connects the acts of drama) and songs.

Beethoven's musical interpretation of Goethe's tragedy begins with a series of riveting chords that pre-release the mood of the drama. The music is ominous, echoing the tyranny of the Spanish dynasties in the 16th century and the tragic revolution of Count Egmont. Excerpts from the lyrical melody of wood wind and strings appear, but relief is minimal before the explosion of return to the original chords.

A softer part with repetitive chords of strings, leads to a more agitated music. Underlying anxiety is maintained where themes are reintroduced with various transformations. The music calms down before an orchestral sound leads to a rushing finale, sweeping the previous melancholy into a clear statement that goodwill ultimately dominates evil.