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1812 Overture

Tchaikovsky's classic overture written in 1880 and was written to commemorate Russia's battle with the Napoleonic forces.

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Few classical works can match the climax of the 1812 Overture

  • Aug 15, 2010
Rating:
+5
The 1812Overture written by Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in 1880 to commemorate Russia's defense of Moscow against Napoleon's advancing Grande Armée at the Battle of Borodino in 1812. The overture is best known for its climactic volley of cannon fire and ringing chimes.
 
Though most Americans recognize the work for its associations with the Independence Day celebrations of the United States, few realize the work's inspiration as being not about the US and the British in the War of 1812, but the triumph of Russia on the far end of the Napoleonic Wars.  I know that as a teenager I was under this misconception until adulthood when I studied classical music in school.
 
The music can be interpreted as a fairly literal depiction of the campaign: in June 1812.  Tchaikovsky musically depicts the back and forth tug-of-war between the French and Russian forces to great effect.  Its crescendo ends in the peel of church bells and canon fire.  I find the climax of the piece is very exhilarating!!!
 
I love this piece.  I have had the pleasure of sitting on the steps of the Lincoln memorial on the 4th of July when the 1812 was played and have seen the fireworks.  If you haven't had the pleasure, put it on your "Bucket List"!!!  I love the work of most Russian composers, both in music and in literature.  It seems that they have the ability to touch my soul!!!  They really express the pathos of the human condition like no other nationality. 
Few classical works can match the climax of the 1812 Overture Few classical works can match the climax of the 1812 Overture Few classical works can match the climax of the 1812 Overture Few classical works can match the climax of the 1812 Overture

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September 14, 2010
I agree. Russian composers do have a distinctive vibrancy to their works. Thanks for your contribution to this community!
September 14, 2010
Thank you for the compliment. I am currently listening to Maria Argerich playing Rachmaninoff 3, a great piece, I will have to write a review soon.
 
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Quick Tip by . August 15, 2010
I love this piece. I have had the pleasure of sitting on the steps of the Lincoln memorial on the 4th of July when the 1812 was played and have seen the fireworks. If you haven't had the pleasure, put it on your "Bucket List"!!! I love the work of most Russian composers, both in music and in literature. It seems that they have the ability to touch my soul!!! They really express the pathos of the human condition like no other nationality.
About the reviewer
Michael Neulander ()
Ranked #6
Recently graduated with a Masters in Humanities degree from Old Dominion University reading in philosophy and history. I graduated from the Univ. of Miami in 1980 with a B.A. in Political Science; specializing … more
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