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 - Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka, Op. 214 in A major

Johann Strauss II composed "Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka"  in 1858 after a successful tour of Russia where he performed in the summer concert season at Pavlovsk, Saint Petersburg. It was first performed in a concert in Vienna on 24 November 1858.

The German word "trarch" means gossip, while the word "tritsch" has no meaning. The title is a sample of Johann Strauss II's habit of creating puns. In this case he wanted to imitate sonically the English expression "chit-chat" (drizzle, gossip).

The music is lively and Strauss hypothesized that many dancers could wait while chatting until a waltz is played. The composer wrote in his diary that at the time he was conducting a series of concerts in London, the audience asked for this polka 38 times! 

It is a lively, rhythmic work, in A major, which uses brilliant brass and percussion instruments and is widely decorated with trills and a multitude of musical ornaments. Interpretively it is a demanding work, but its unique cheerfulness makes it enjoyable to both play it and listen to it.



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