" 1812 Overture, Opus 49 Sheet Music Print. Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky

1812 Overture, Opus 49 Sheet Music

1812 Overture, Opus 49 Sheet Music
also known as 1812 Ouvertüre Sheet Music
Artist: Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky (also known as Pyotr Ilyich Tschaikovsky Chaykovski Chaikovsky), Phillip Keveren
Writer: Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky, Phillip Keveren, John Kember
The "1812 Overture“ is undoubtedly Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky`s best known composition but far from being his most impressive or important. It has probably become so famous and popular because it is often performed at open air festivals where the sequence of cannon fire is provided by real cannons.
The "1812 Overture" opens with solemn tones recalling the Russian church services after the declaration of war. A melody played by the horns represents the marching armies and afterwards the French national anthem “La Marseillaise” takes over to reflect the French victories and the capture of Moscow in 1812. A Russian folk dance theme represents the battle to force back Napoleon, and his retreat from Moscow is reflected by a long diminuendo. The following cannon fire illustrates the attacks of the Russian artillery on Napoleon`s flanks. With a peal of bells and the musical intonation of fire-works the victory and the liberation from French occupation is celebrated. Besides the fire-works and church bells we hear the Russian national anthem “God Save the Tsar”; it is a counterpoint to the French anthem that was introduced at the beginning of the "1812 Overture".

For P. Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) the "1812 Overture” was a commissioned orchestral work to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Russian victory over the French in 1812, after Napoleon had invaded Russia. The devastating withdrawal of Napoleon`s Grand Army was the turning point in the Napoleonic wars. The commission was also to mark the consecration of the Moscow “Cathedral of Christ the Saviour”, which was built to give thanks for the Russian victory and to mark the 1882 Moscow Exhibition. Its first performance on 20. August 1882 was an immediate success.

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