Why in the hell do the planners for 4th of July concerts insist on this piece?
*Uhhh, dude it’s got 'splosions, so it’s like perfect for us.
I’m watching the fireworks show from WASHINGTON DC and they play THIS!
Why don’t we just play that song from Apocolypse Now. Dunt da-da Daaa Dunt Dunt da-da Daaa Dunt. Or maybe Russian Sailor Dance. Hell, if you don’t know what to play, just play some John Williams movie themes.
Yes the USofA was involved in a little tiff in 1812 but the 1812 Overture is NOT about that. It’s about the Russians turning back Napoleon. What I want to know is wether they singing God Save the Tsar or was the chorus singing the commie substition?
Just to make sure you don’t think we’re not taking your question seriously, I really do think this (what you posted yourself in the OP) is the reason for the song. How many other songs feature artillary as a musical instrument?*
*I now sit and wait for the music history expert Dopers to tell me.
I’m pretty sure we won that one in the end. You know, it’s like a wrassling match. The evil wrestler has got to get some good hits in first, then we knock 'em down and climb up to the top rope for our finishing move.
Because the July 4th concert is about the only outdoor concert the orchestra will play all year, and that makes it the perfect candidate for the 1812 and its cannons. Yes, it’s Russian patriotic music, but it fits well with fireworks and is utterly awesome, so be happy.
A number of years ago, the Boston Pop Orchestra (who also plays the 1812 Overture for the 4th) commissioned musicalologist Professor Peter Schickele (USNDaH) to do find something along the lines of the 1812 piece, only American. The good professor responded by unearthing the 1712 Overture, for really big orchestra, composed by P.D.Q. Bach. Give a listen, it is a fabulous piece, even quotes a simple American melody written about the then-famous German immigrant, Dieter Dudel.
Beethoven’s Wellington’s Victory commemorates The Duke of Wellington’s victory over the French (them again!) at the Battle of Vitoria, Spain, in 1813. It’s usually performed with simulated muskets at minimum, and this recording:
Apparently, Liszt’s Battle of the Huns (with which I am not familiar) is ranked with the 1812 and Wellington’s Victory in the list of “battle pieces”, so it may have artilery as well.
Of course, none of the above have the slightest relevance to events in the US, except to the extent that native British troops in the North American “War of 1812” were very much second-stringers due to the rather more immediate events going on in Europe at the time. Most of the so-called “British” troops in that conflict were Canadian militia – and I do not wish to imply that they were the “B team”.