Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840 – 1893), 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 concert and 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. One of these appearances was at the
inaugural concert of Carnegie Hall in New York City in
1891. Tchaikovsky was honored in 1884 by Emperor
Alexander III, and awarded a lifetime pension in the
late 1880s. Tchaikovsky wrote many works which are
popular with the classical music public, including his
Romeo and Juliet, the 1812 Overture.
The Year 1812 (festival overture in E♭ major, Op.
49), popularly known as the 1812 Overture or the
Overture of 1812 is an overture written by Russian
composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in 1880 to
commemorate Russia's defense of their motherland
against Napoleon's invading Grande Armée in 1812. It
has also been co-opted as a patriotic hymn played in
the United States in association with its Fourth of
July celebrations. The overture debuted in the
Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow in 1882,
conducted by Ippolit Al'tani. The overture is best
known for its climactic volley of cannon fire, ringing
chimes, and brass fanfare finale.
The "Fanfare" from the Overture (as well as the
composition) has no historical connection with the
US-UK War of 1812, it is often performed in the US
alongside other patriotic music and is a staple at
Fourth of July celebrations.
Although originally scored for orchestra, I created
this arrangement for my friend Dr Leonard Anderson, for
B♭ Clarinet (3) and Bass Clarinet Quartet.