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

Maurice Ravel - Piano Concerto in G major

The Piano Concerto in G major was composed between 1929 and 1931. Ravel was ill at the time and did not perform at the premiere himself, although he conducted the orchestra. Ravel claimed that the work was composed in the manner of Mozart and Saint-Saëns, although influences from Stravinsky and Gershwin, as well as from the Spanish folk music of the composer's hometown, the Basque region, can be seen. The concerto was Ravel's penultimate composition.

Μovements:

Ι. Allergamente

This concerto has no orchestral introduction. At the beginning of the first part marked Allegramente, the piano appears immediately, although the original theme in a folk style, is introduced by the piccolo. The melody is repeated by the trumpet. In the theme of the piano that follows, the influence of jazz, which exists throughout the work, is felt for the first time.

The piano then introduces a third theme, which adopts the saxophone and the trumpet. The lively part of the development continues the strong, rhythmic feeling of the first part and a part in the form of a canteenza for a solo harp moves mainly in the harmonics. Later, a solo piano cadenza completes the part with a deliberately dissonant descending scale.



ΙΙ. Adagio assai

The slow and lyrical second part, Adagio assai, begins with a theme surprisingly beautiful and simple. A trill completes the extensive piano solo. The music that follows is dominated by woodwinds with the flute in front. The piano, when it does not play a solo role, accompanies.

Towards the end, the English horn appears as a solo instrument, while the piano weaves and decorates. During an extended piano trill, the strings with sourdina reflect the original theme for the last time and complete the part.


ΙΙΙ. Presto

The third part, Presto, begins with a fanfare for tambourine and trumpet. The strange, screeching first theme is presented by the clarinet, while the piano provides the joyful accompaniment. The atmosphere is generally light and happy, with a cheerfulness reminiscent of the music of the circus and reflecting the influence of jazz.Then the music is restless, while the piano passages are combined with the strings and the bassoon. 

Later the music is lowered and a quick return of the piano follows. An extensive scale where all the instruments are combined, leads to strong, dissonant chords that complete the work.


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