Sunday, July 3, 2011

America loves this Russian composer, especially in July and December

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky was a great Russian romantic composer. This genius composed some of the greatest symphonies and ballets. How could a Christmas season go by without Tchaikovsky's great 'Nutcracker' ballet. I admit, I am not much of a ballet aficionado, but I have seen and loved The Nutcracker, in December, like millions of Americans.

Also, I don't know when this has started, but every fourth of July would feel empty without hearing the 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky.  Ironically, the overture has nothing to do with America.  It was composed in 1880 to commemorate Russia's defense of Moscow against Napoleon's advancing army at the Battle of Borodino in 1812.
I think the reason Americans have adopted it as their own, because of the  exciting, stirring, triumphant finale.  The climax stirs a shout of winners, which America is.  This piece, especially the victorious ending, just feels American.  It feels appropriate for the 4th!  I believe America is an exceptional country, so appropriately we play this exceptional piece.
God Bless America.  Happy Birthday America!    So, on this classical 4th weekend, I hope you don't mind if  I post this piece on both Saturday and Sunday. 

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: "1812 Overture"

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