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

Joseph Haydn - String Quartet No. 62 in C major, Op. 76, No. 3 "Emperor"

The lyrics in "Gott, erhalte den Kaiser!" ("God save the Emperor") were written by Lorenz Leopold Haschka. 

The winter of 1797-8 Joseph Haydn composed six String Quartets and dedicated them to the Hungarian count Joseph Georg von Erdődy.
The Quartet No. 62 in C major, Op. 76, No. 3, boasts the nickname Emperor (or Kaiser), because in the second movement is a set of variations on "Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser" ("God save Emperor Francis"), an anthem he wrote for Emperor Francis II, which later, is the national anthem of Austria-Hungary. This same melody is known to modern listeners for its later use in the German national anthem, the Deutschlandlied, which is used since Austria-Hungary and the Nazi era, known today as "Deutschland uber alles".


Ι. Allegro

The first part, Allegro, although it begins with a pattern of just five notes, the rest of the part is developed from this simple phrase. As in the case of the "Surprise" Symphony, the opening part is repeated and then the development of the music begins. The development contains a very characteristic section, where two violins interpret some nily, almost dance groups accompanied by viola and cello, a reminder of Haydn's love for folk songs and dances. A coda leads to a few slower, more thoughtful musical measures to follow a vivid finish.

ΙΙ. Poco adagio, cantabile

The second part, Poco adagio, is a series of four variations of the melody composed by Haydn on the lyrics of the "Imperial Hymn", written for the Austrian Emperor in 1797. This is the part where the quartet's name is due. 

Variation I is a duet for the two violins, where the one plays the melody, while the other adds decorative shapes. 

In Variation II the cello plays the melody. 

In Variation III the melody is interpreted by the viola with some accompanying harmonies towards the end. 

Variation IV adds more harmonies to the melody, slightly changing its musical character.

ΙΙΙ. Menuetto: Allegro

The third part, Menuetto, includes a small hurried band that share the first violin and cello. The melody of the central "trio" section, played by the first violin, moves very effectively between the minor and major scale.

IV. Presto

The fourth part, Presto, begins with three strong chords in a minor scale, which are succeeded by a concise theme. Once again Haydn masterfully builds on this original material. The part remains mainly in the minor scale until just before the end, when the music returns to its starting point in tonality of C Major, thus sealing the work with a brilliant and categorical note.