1812 Overture

210px-Tchaikovsky_1906_EvansThe Year 1812, festival overture in E major, Op. 49, popularly known as the 1812 Overture, is an overture written in 1880 by Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky to commemorate Russia's defense of its motherland against Napoleon's invading Grande Armée in 1812. It has also become a common accompaniment to fireworks displays, including those in the United States during Fourth of July celebrations. It was heard prominently in the film V for Vendetta in which the main character, V blows up government buildings to it.

The overture debuted in Moscow on 20 August 1882,[2] conducted by Ippolit Al'tani under a tent near the then unfinished Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, which also memorialized the 1812 defense of Russia.[3] The overture was conducted by Tchaikovsky himself in 1891 at the dedication of Carnegie Hall.[4] The overture is best known for its climactic volley of cannon fire, ringing chimes, and brass fanfare finale.

Instructional Resources:

Sheet Music: