1812 Overture Op.49
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Down 1. Highest of Tchaikovsky's 12 entries.
Tchaikovsky was particularly scathing about the 1812 Overture before it premiered, saying it would be 'without artistic merit, because I wrote it without warmth or love'. Given the heartache in Tchaikovsky's life, it's sad to think he never realised how his 1812 Overture would go on to become one of the most adored creations in classical music.
A musical portrayal of the Russian victory over Napoleon, the 1812 Overture weaves together a number of orginal and historically significant musical themes, including the French national anthem 'Marseillaise', the Russian National Anthem and an Orthodox hymn.
The 1812 Overture is perhaps best known for its rousing climactic volley of cannon fire, ringing chimes and brass fanfare finale. Tchaikovsky originally intended the piece to be performed with a brass band to reinforce the orchestra, the bells of the cathedral and live cannon fire in accompaniment. Unfortunately logistics prevented this from happening, though the piece has since been performed and recorded with the level of noise and excitement Tchaikovsky envisioned.
Win every hour with the Hall of Fame
We're offering you the chance to win a Roberts Radio, the Classic FM Hall of Fame 2014 album, and a copy of our brand new book, 50 Moments That Rocked The Classical Music World, every hour during the countdown.
The Hall of Fame album
We've compiled some of the greatest tracks from this year's Hall of Fame and housed them on one album for your listening pleasure.
Download the Classic FM app for your Apple device
Got an Apple mobile device? Listen to Classic FM on the move with our beautifully-designed, brand new app.
Download the Classic FM app for your Android device
Got an Android mobile device? Listen to Classic FM on the move with our beautifully-designed, brand new app.