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

Johannes Brahms - Introduction

Portrait of the composer Johannes Brahms in a mature age with a long beard.

At a time when every artist's concern was the proposal of the new, Johannes Brahms dared to turn his gaze to the old. He was more interested in the past than in the future. 

Romantic lyricism didn't miss from the music he signed. But each of his musical phrases was subject to the rules of classicism, in a way that symbolized the rewriting of romance and indicated the support of pure form.

Both in the aesthetics and in the form of his works, Brahms proclaims his opposition to the pompous lyrical dramas of his compatriot and contemporary Richard Wagner. His refusal to deal with opera, a musical genre extremely well-benefited and popular in the 19th century, can also be seen as a manifestation of his opposition. He possessed well, however, both the technique of symphonic writing and the methods of using the voice.

Johannes Brahms served with merit every form of music, except of course opera. His music stands out for its total tranquility, for its earthly and human fervor, for the understandable logic of its harmonious processing, for the clarity of its melodic line. It is dominated by a thoughtful mood balanced between subtle melancholy, restless sensitivity and endless contemplation.

With its poetic character, which reconciles power and serenity, Brahms's musical discourse takes the form of subtle chamber music.


(George Monemvasitis)


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