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

Vivaldi - Introduction

Portrait of Vivaldi holding a violin

Antonio Vivaldi's music is music full of health. The sounds he created hedonistically breathe the smells of the Mediterranean and capture the joy of life, causing constant bursts of spontaneous excitement and aesthetic enjoyment. The hearing of the Italian composer's music reveals a color richness that only a worthy painter could have imagined.

His work, amazing in scope and depth, impresses with the inexhaustible variety of his inspirations, which are obvious even when the composer dares not be freed from the structural commitment of the almighty in the age of tripartite division: allegro, adagio, allegro.

However, this traditional structure did not prevent him from revising the concerto grosso and proposing a new one for the era of the symphonic idiom, from which the personality of the soloist first emerged.

Vivaldi first imagined and applied the concerto with one or more soloists, even defining the most unusual combinations of instruments. If this is not innovation, originality in music, what can it be? Or did a former composer articulate his musical discourse with the descriptive power of his own music?

Long before Antonio Vivaldi challenged our admiration with his wisdom and fruitful imagination, he had provoked the admiration of Johann Sebastian Bach. It is certainly no coincidence that the Great Cantor copied six of Vivaldi's concertos for a keyboard instrument.
 

(George Monemvasitis)



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