Monday, August 20, 2012

Tchaikovsky - 1812 Overture

This recording of the 1812 Overture is my very favorite. Sir Georg Solti conducts the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and what sounds like real live cannons. As you may well know, the 1812 Overture is known for its use of cannons, though many conductors opt not to use them for financial and/or safety reasons. I have been searching for more information on this recording (somehow I lost the liner notes, which is not something I tend to do), but to my ears it sounds like real cannons, so we'll assume they are until I'm told differently.

Anyway, this album contains not only the best recording of the 1812 Overture I have ever heard, but an assortment of other Tchaikovsky goodies as well. These include "Romeo and Juliet" which has been used in a bazillion romantic scenes through the years, and "The Nutcracker Suite," which was a Christmas tradition in my family for a number of years (I have five sisters, all of which studied ballet). I love every single note of this disc. Sir Georg Solti brings a sense of dignity to each of the pieces, especially the 1812 Overture which is still regarded as a gimmick work among many critics. This was one of the pivotal classical recordings of my childhood, and it still moves me decades later.

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