Wednesday, April 15, 2009

1812 Overture

It occurs to me today that anyone who doesn't appreciate the brilliance of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture clearly doesn't know a damned thing about music.

In an age saturated by the drivel of Brittany Spears and Fergie, the mere presence of a violin makes any ditty seem sophisticated. Yet the Ouverture Solennelle, L'Année 1812, Op. 49 remains one of the most inspiring and emotion-evoking pieces of music ever written.

Granted, any composition that includes field artillery would get a high rating in my book, regardless of the melody. That said, I'm hard pressed to think of any other scrap of music that makes the excitement level rise, and gets the heart pumping as much as the last few minutes of the 1812. I never cease to be amazed by it's complex texture of themes, and the steady rise of anticipation as we move from the tranquility of the string that begin the piece to the cannon fire that punctuates the finale.

Mr. Tchaikovsky, I salute you. Well done indeed!