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Monday, September 29, 2014

Music for the ages

Perhaps the best known and most beloved of Russian composer Tchaikovsky's works is his moving 1812 Overture. The work is based on the war between France and Russia in 1812 and is an appeal to God to save Tchaikovsky's people in Russia and their Czar from being conquered by the French. That war predated the Bolshevik (Communist) revolution in Russia by nearly a century.

Within the work Tchaikovsky draws from both the Russian national anthem and the French national anthem. The piece begins with a brief choral introduction that is quite moving, the prayer on behalf of the Russian people. You will hear mega-deep notes on the part of the bass vocalists.

This rendition of the work is presented by Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and it is perhaps the greatest recording of all among the various renditions of the 1812 Overture. Ormandy pulls out all of the stops, utilizing the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the pipe organ, and the cannons firing and bells ringing at the end, which was recorded by Ormandy and the orchestra at Valley Forge, using the Valley Forge Military Academy Band.

You must hear this. You will not be sorry. And if you can listen without being deeply moved, there's something wrong with you. Click on the photo below to listen.

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