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

Niccolò Paganini - Introduction

A little the weak-mindedness of those who do not want to admit the exceptional, unusual abilities of others, a little his "mephistofelic" appearance, favored the development of the myth that the violinist and composer Niccolò Paganini "Faust" of music wanted. His virtuosity on the violin was truly transcendent, as no one listed collaboration with the devil.

Paganini's insurmountable technique had its morphological characteristics and exhibitionism at the time of public interpretation. Thus, the myth was well preserved. All the music centres in Europe enjoyed this theatrical artist, but he was unreal only on stage. In his daily life he was an ordinary man, a kind man, a man of virtues and weaknesses.

He not only developed the technique bequeathed to him by the virtuosos violonists of the 18th century, but he developed it unexpectedly by inventing tricks that gave him the right to be called a pioneer. The techniques of "staccato", "pizzicato", "harmonics" in the interpretation of stringed instruments with glory benefited from him, as much as from any earlier or later artist.

The awareness of the charm he exerted on his listeners and the need for the show, consumed his time in concerts and recitals. He had little time left to make use of his synthetic gifts.

There weren't many works he signed, and most of them were composed to serve his virtuosity. Thus, his compositions were probably underestimated by the musical analysts. The careful approach of his work, however, reveals a truly brilliant lyricist.

(George Monemvasitis)