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The best 1812 overture ever! ;)
Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture: the complete guide
With a performance history going back over years, Tchaikovsky's " Overture" may have been written by a Russian to commemorate a new cathedral, but today it is perhaps most well known as a musical symbol of America's independence. In October that same year, Tchaikovsky began composing the work and completed it six weeks later. Russians gathered in churches across the country and offered their prayers. To symbolize the increase of wartime tensions, Tchaikovsky employs a combination of pastoral and martial themes. When French forces approach closer and closer to the city and the fighting commences, the French National Anthem, "La Marsillaise," is heard more prominently, eventually overwhelming the orchestra once it appears that the French are invincible. The Overture now shifts gears, with a series of Russian folk melodies coming to the fore.
The Year Solemn Overture, festival overture in E? major, Op. 49, popularly known as the Overture, is a concert overture written in by Russian.
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Grove Music Online
Tchaikovsky - 1812 Overture, op. 49. Piano (Synthesia)
As a favoured festival spectacle, the Overture has long been ranked among the most adored, and also the most abhorred, works in the entire orchestral repertoire. The thing was written to order. In America it has become a staple of Independence Day celebrations on July 4. It is still a crowd-puller worldwide. Whether we like it or not, the has survived for years since its first performance and it is not going to go away. When musing on much more substantial works than the — some of the symphonies, for example — he could quite often veer from wondering whether his talent had deserted him to suggesting that the music might after all have merits.
The Overture begins with a Russian Orthodox hymn and includes the Russian national anthem, God Save the Czar ; the French national anthem, La Marseillaise , is very clearly blown to smithereens. The Overture entered the American patriotic songbook in as a brilliant publicity stunt by Boston Pops conductor Arthur Fiedler. In , the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, commissioned by Tsar Alexander II to commemorate the Russian victory, was nearing completion in Moscow; the 25th anniversary of the coronation of Alexander II would be at hand in ; and the Moscow Arts and Industry Exhibition was in the planning stage. Tchaikovsky's friend and mentor Nikolai Rubinstein suggested that he write a grand commemorative piece for use in related festivities. Tchaikovsky began work on the project on October 12, , finishing it six weeks later. The piece was planned to be performed in the square before the cathedral, with a brass band to reinforce the orchestra, the bells of the cathedral and all the others in downtown Moscow playing " zvons " pealing bells on cue, and live cannon fire in accompaniment, fired from an electric switch panel in order to achieve the precision demanded by the musical score in which each shot was specifically written.
The overture debuted in Moscow on August 20, ,  conducted by Ippolit Al'tani under a tent near the then-unfinished Cathedral of Christ the Saviour , which also memorialized the defence of Russia. The 15 minute overture is best known for its climactic volley of cannon fire, ringing chimes , and brass fanfare finale. It has also become a common accompaniment to fireworks displays on the United States' Independence Day. The Overture is scored for an orchestra that consists of the following: . The carillon is sometimes replaced with tubular bells or recordings of carillons, or even church bells.