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

Richard Wagner - Introduction

Rebel, pioneer, demagogue, revisionist, heretic. Anyone who, honorably or disparagingly, is offended by the German composer Richard Wagner cannot deny his genius. He proposed a different expression of opera, an expression that dominated the second half of the 19th century creating supporters and opponents, who apparently still have not solved their differences.

He called for the mix of music and drama to be in one, considering the ancient Greek reality, envisioned the whole of the musical drama going beyond the theoretical data, since it offered shaped the values for its realization. The art of opera transformed by Wagner yielded new fruits sufficiently differentiated from those folk music of bel canto. The dynamics of Wagner's opera evoke reflection rather than emotion, without, of course, aiming to detox from it.

The music of Richard Wagner, the main but not his only component of his lyrical dramas, rich in expressive power, with a strong descriptive capacity, has been completely consistent with the ideology of its creator. Its magnificence and volume are in the same way as the theme of the myths he himself elaborated. He didn't allow anyone to share the glory of his works. But he also took full responsibility for his work, even when he could not be sure of the happy ending of his musical experiments. The experiments succeeded and the music took a step forward.

(George Monemvasitis)


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