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

Mendelssohn - Violin concerto in E minor, Op. 64

An image of Leipzig, the city that Mendelssohn promoted to the cultural capital of Europe and where his Violin Concerto in E minor was first presented.


Mendelssohn
spent the summer of 1844 touring for a series of concerts for the eighth time in England. His holiday followed at the end of July in the small town of Bad Soden, near Frankfurt. During his stay there, he composed this Violin Concerto in E minor, Opus 64.

It premiered in Leipzig seven months later, on March 13, 1845. The concerto was performed by his friend, the eminent violinist Ferdinand David, who had assisted Mendelssohn in various technical details relating to the violin part. Mendelssohn was too ill to direct the concerto and ceded the director's job to Nils Wilhelm Gade's assistant.


Movements:

I. Allegro molto appassionato

The first movement begins with a lively but simple melody where the violin hovers over the orchestra singing cheerfully -  unusual for a minor tone. The theme develops and passes to the orchestra, while the violin plays strong sequences of chords (two strings at the same time) and arpeggio that go up and down the scale. A melody prepares the way for the introduction of the second theme. The solo violin lowers to a restrained G and the woodwinds introduce a quieter theme. This theme develops, repeats and alternates related to the first melody before a dazzling cadenza follows. Unaccompanied solo violin makes a spectacular show followed by the lively return of the two previous themes. The music rises in an impressive escalation.


II. Andante

Then follows the second movement, the slow Andante, dominated by a lyrical, dreamy and subtle melody. As at the end of the first part, the transition to the final part is achieved with great skill.


III. Allegreto non troppo - Allegro molto vivace

In the third movenemt, Allegretto non troppo - Allegro molto vivace, the music ceases but wakes up again and unfolds politely to prevent a double fanfare and some vivid decorations, with the violin lively in a particularly vigorous place.





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