1812 Overture

Classical Headlines
3:43 pm
Sun June 24, 2012

The Co-Opting Of Tchaikovsky's '1812 Overture'

A Civil War cannon with American flags in Kennesaw, Ga.
iStock

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 3:08 pm

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky wrote his piece The Year 1812, Festival Overture in E flat major in commemoration of the Russian Army's successful defense of Moscow against Napoleon's advancing troops at the Battle of Borodino. Most Americans, however, know the piece as the bombastic tune that accompanies Fourth of July fireworks shows all over the country.

Read more