Monday, July 7, 2008

July 7: Put the "181" Back in Tchaikovsky's 1812

By Sylvia Gurinsky

I am sick of hearing the "2" overture on July 4.

You know Tchaikovsky's "2" overture, don't you? It's what's left at televised concerts when fine orchestras such as the National Symphony Orchestra or the Boston Pops are forced to cut roughly eight minutes out of the entire 1812 Overture.

Heaven forbid Americans should actually hear a rich piece of classical music in its entirety - even, apparently, on PBS.

Well, for those who wanted to hear the entire piece, here's a link to the Boston Symphony, posted in January of last year:

Part 1:

And Part 2:

The piece actually commemorates Russia's victory over France, but has been used by American orchestras as part of the July 4 celebration for many years. So if they're going to play it, they should play it right.

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