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Festival Overture 1812, Op 49. (1812 Overture) Tchaikovsky Help Opus Details
For feedback and questions, please contact Victor Gomersall.
Cannons, military trumpets, church bells, and an enormous orchestra are employed in this overture. It was commisioned by the State, to commemorate the rousing defeat of Napoleon's army by the Russian forces. Tchaikovsky wrote it in a hurry, and didn't like it himself, though it has subsequently proved very popular with audiences the world over, who love its bombastic noisiness and breathless excitement. Tchaikovsky wrote about it "The Overture will be very loud and noisy.... but I wrote it with no warm feelings of love, and therefore there will probably be no artistic merit in it". It includes the French anthem "La Marseillaise", the Russian anthem and a Russian Orthodox hymn. After the French Anthem is quoted and developed by the brass, there is a lengthy passage of descending scales by the strings, possibly representing the retreat of Napoleon's army. The we hear the cannons, then the bells start peeling, and the Russian hymn is heard. Lastly, the Russian Anthem is quoted before a rousing closing passage.
Category: Overture Orchestra Featuring French Horn Romantic Period
Time Signature 4 /4 Key Signature   Eb Major Play MP3 using player below.

1    Slow opening theme on strings.

2    Exciting new theme by the brass, with a strong military flavour.

3    Quote from La Marseillaise, the French National Anthem.

4    A quiet lyrical melody soars in the strings

5    The woodwinds play a sadder minor theme.

6    The Tsarist National Anthem of Russia is quoted, in counterpoint with theme 2. (Also in Tchaikovsky's Marche Slave)
 No score for this tune is available yet.
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