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

Bedřich Smetana - The Bartered Bride

 

Wedding is generally a happy event and the music of The Bartered Bride, despite its title, is full of cheer.

Composed between 1863 and 1866, based on a libretto by Karel Sabina, this undivided story with the romantic plot takes place in a village of Bohemia. It was the second of Smetana's eight operas and is part of his obsession to create the then non-existent national Czech opera. He composed no fewer than five variations between 1866 and 1870, developing the work from a simple operetta to the three-act work we know today.

- Overture

Bedřich Smetana was accused of imitating Richard Wagner's monumental operas. Critics deemed him incapable of writing more upbeat music. With The Bartered Bride he disproved his critics with his comic opera in three acts. From the first chord of the Overture, the strings run through the scales, accompanied by the lively theme played successively by the various parts of the orchestra, until they take off together in a fast, rhythmic melody.

- Polka

Polka, with her cheerful pace, comes back every now and then dancing. It culminates in the ecstatic dance of the villagers, who eventually fall exhausted but cheerfully to the ground.


- Furiant

Furiant - a rapid and fiery Bohemian dance -  is just as lively, but the music is abandoned in wide acrobatic moves.

- Dance of the Comedians

The Dance of the Comedians begins with the strings. The humor manifests itself in the high-altitude appearance of the piccolo and in the trumpet. Here's a rocking part that evolves into a faster string interpolation. The music is interrupted by drums and, after a brief hesitation, the comedians engage in new pranks.


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