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

Liszt - Piano Concerto No.1 in E-flat Major

Liszt was first involved in this concerto in 1832, when he was young. However, his tours as a virtuosian pianist throughout Europe did not allow him to compose comfortably, so he managed to complete the concerto only in 1849. Even then, he kept revising the score. The premiere was given in Weimar in 1855, under the direction of another great composer, Berlioz.

The concerto is romantic in every way. It moves away in form and style from Mozart's and Beethoven's most "classic" concertos with three parts. Its form is circular: the same musical ideas circulate throughout the work.


I. Allegro maestoso

The first part of the concerto, Allegro maestoso, begins with an imposing theme played by strings in unison, followed by two resonant chords in woodwinds and brass. This is a "pattern", i.e. an important idea that reverts to the whole project. The piano stands out soon before leading the music back to the original theme. Here is a noticeable change in mood: the piano quietly develops a new theme, accompanied first by the clarinet soles and then by violins and cellos. The mood changes again with a great orchestral escalation, based on the original theme, followed by a few quick octaves, which Liszt loved so much. The part, which is surprisingly short for the multitude of ideas and moods it contains, ends quietly and cheerfully.

II. Quasi adagio

The second part, Quasi adagio, begins after a short pause. First the cellos and double basses and then the violins, introduce a new, tender theme, which then develops the piano into an extensive and enthusiastic solo part. After a more restless episode, a long piano trill accompanies a series of soft, tender soles of flute, clarinet and oboe, followed again by the clarinet.

III. Allegretto vivace - Allegro animato

The third part, Allegretto vivace - Allegro animato, is famous for the part of the triangle - one of the few cases where the triangle stands out. His polite ringing underscores the light, dance mood of the music. Then the piano invokes the original pattern of the entire concerto and another great escalation leads directly to.. 

IV. Allegrio marziale animato - Presto

... the finale, Allegro marziale animato - Presto, which also appears with a dynamic, military rhythm played by woodwinds and strings, while they process themes from the previous parts. An accelerated tempo leads the part and the concerto to its scintillating outcome.