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

Antonio Vivaldi - Concerto No. 3 in F major, Op. 8, RV 293, "Autumn" (L'autunno)

Poussin's painting with vine harvest
"Autumn" painting by Nicolas Poussin. 

I. Allegro
Celebrates the peasant, with songs and dances, 
The pleasure of a bountiful harvest. 
And fired up by Bacchus' liquor
many end their revelry in sleep. 

II. Adagio molto
Everyone is made to forget their cares and to sing and dance 
By the air which is tempered with pleasure 
And (by) the season that invites so many, many 
Out of their sweetest slumber to fine enjoyment  

III. Allegro
The hunters emerge at the new dawn, 
And with horns and dogs and guns depart upon their hunting 
The beast flees and they follow its trail
Terrified and tired of the great noise 
Of guns and dogs, the beast, wounded, threatens 
Languidly to flee, but harried, dies.

The Four Seasons is a group of four violin concerti by Antonio Vivaldi, each of which gives musical expression to a season of the year. "Autumn" is the third concerto in F major.

In this work are described the villagers who celebrate the harvest with drink and dances. The joyful melody of the inaugural Allegro is well known. The soloist repeats the dance with a few double chords, followed by descending couplings and other musical ornaments.

A section of Larghetto submits the image of the villagers falling asleep, but the part ends with the dance.

Adagio finds everyone surrendering to a "sweet" sleep with a continuo played by the harpsichord.

In the final Allegro, the music depicts a hunter, with more double chords of the soloist. Quick phrases on the violin solo describe the panic of the frightened prey, before returning to the theme of the hunter.