The War of 1812

November 09, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

"The only winner in the War of 1812 was Tchaikovsky."

                                         -------Solomon Short (David Gerrold)

 

Peter Ilyich TchaikovskyPeter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (7 May 1840 – 6 November 1893) anglicized as Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, was a Russian composer whose works included symphonies, concertos, operas, ballets, chamber music, and a choral setting of the Russian Orthodox Divine Liturgy. Some of these are among the most popular theatrical music in the classical repertoire. He was the first Russian composer whose music made a lasting impression internationally, which he bolstered with appearances as a guest conductor later in his career in Europe and the United States.

According to Aaron Green, in his article "The Truth Behind the 1812 Overture:"

For the past 30+ years, Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture has been performed during countless United States' Independence Day celebrations, due largely in part to an exhilarating performance by the Boston Pops in 1974, conducted by Arthur Fiedler. In an effort to increase ticket sales, Fiedler choreographed fireworks, cannons, and a steeple-bell choir to the overture, as Tchaikovsky himself called for the use of cannons in his score. Many American's believe that Tchaikovsky's overture represents the USA's victory against the British Empire during the War of 1812, however, Tchaikovsky actually tells the story of Napoleon's retreat from Russia in 1812. In fact, Tchaikovsky even references the French national anthem La Marsillaise and Russia's God Save the Czar within the music. The USA was quick to adopt the piece, as it found itself lacking in the patriotic song department.

 

 

 


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