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There was an excellent documentary on the 1812 overture on BBC Radio 3 earlier today, which is well worth listening to on the BBC website if you missed it first time around:

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Brett Langston

01/12/2012 15:24

I found this to be an interesting adventure in better understanding this well known piece...the singing of the choral part add to its dimension....heard too for the first time was the lovely aria from the discarded opera "The Voevoda" not to speak of the folk song which appears later in the piece. It brings to mind some of my earliest experiences in music..I was but 14 or 15 years old when I bought first recording in circa 1947...with the Boston Pops..later to be followed with the Marche Slav, Capriccio Italien, First Piano Concerto and lesser known pieces such as the Hamlet Overture and Second Piano Concerto such as my meager funds at the time allowed...all on 78's of course...thus began my record as you can see I've always been a having recently reached my 80th year I can look back and still appreciated playing this piece in its piano arrangement until recently...first in a simplified version back then and later the full complete piece...I find that its energy, melodic invention, harmonic structure still hold attention....and of course only the BBC could have turned out something of this nature...I for one do not find this work to be meretricious as some might have it....would that he had done a few more in a similar vein...his energy level was not always up to par...the same can be said for the "Capriccio Italien"..a brilliantly orchestrated work...and so thank you Brett for bringing this to our attention...

Best Wishes,

Albert Gasparo
03/12/2012 07:14

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