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

Grieg - Introduction


A pioneer and a master of the national music school of his native Norway, Edvard Grieg, a composer with no forerunners and no continuators, invents charming and original ways to bring about the folk music tradition and the myths of the land that saw him born, with the formed classical European harmony.

His works are full of lyricism and romantic mood. The velvety melodies born of his fertile imagination are often intertwined with the masculine, rough rhythms of the dances of the Norwegian land, causing with contrast the emergence of highly seductive sonic grids.

Although he did not test his powers in the larger, massive forms of symphony and opera, he convinced with his musical testimony that he is a great craftsman, both symphonic and vocal writing. The poetry of his musical discourse is imbued with the drips of his love for Norwegian nature and Norwegian tradition. Throughout his life he has been a loyal and devoted lover of a land - no matter how many times he abandoned it soon turned to it - and a woman whom he never abandoned.

For this woman, the soprano Nina Hagerup, the companion of his life, he also composed his wonderful songs, exuberant in their tenderness, heartbreaking in their erotic dialectic. Unknown to many, these songs by Grieg benefited with memorable performances during 1993, the year of the 150th anniversary of his birth. These songs reveal spontaneity of inspiration and immense sensitivity, characteristics that are found in all the works of the composer.


(George Monemvasitis)

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