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

Johann Strauss II -"Tales from the Vienna Woods", Op. 325

Johann Strauss II's love for Viennese life is evident in this waltz he wrote in 1868. He had just returned from his triumphant visit to Paris and this waltz is an anthem of life in his city. The people of the city used to escape to the "heuringen" or country taverns, to drink and taste the fresh air. The atmosphere of these merry excursions is expressed in the lively melody in the "Tales from the Vienna Woods".

It is one of Strauss's most figurative waltzes and one of his most popular. The themes are performed in such a way as to submit the sounds of the Viennese countryside and the fun of the villagers.

After a long introduction with melancholy hunting horns, vigorous melodies are interwoven with bird chirping, folk dances and a little memorable melody on the zither, which presents an old Austrian dance called "Ländler". The zither was the most common musical instrument of peasants and folk musicians in Strauss's time. Strauss, in this waltz invokes an instantly recognizable sound that was heard for several generations in the country taverns outside the city. After announcing the rhythm of the waltz, the strings glide sweetly and gently to the main melody.

Soon the music takes its pace. Various melodies are introduced and repeated. Often some part of the orchestra takes over emphatically, creating a wonderful combination.The coda returns to the theme of the waltz, which is once again played by the zither and as the music dives to its final scale, one last roll of drums ends in a fioritura.



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