Highlights from "1812 Overture"

From Wind Repertory Project
Peter I Tchaikovsky

Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky (arr. Paul Hanna)

General Info

Year: 1880 / 1997
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra
Publisher: TBQ Press
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $20.00


Full Score
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F
Percussion (optional)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Written in 1880, this overture is intended to be descriptive of the invasion of Russia in 1812, by the French under Napoleon, and their final defeat. After his victory of Borodino, the army of Napoleon marched into Moscow and took possession of the Kremlin. Thereupon the patriotic Russians set fire to their city, forcing the French to retreat.

The theme of the introduction is drawn from a Russian hymn, God, Preserve Thy People, and this is soon succeeded by the vividly picturesque "battle music." The fight begins, and the French at first have matters all their own way. High above the tumult are heard fragments of La Marseillaise, but soon a theme of obvious Russian extraction appears, a folk song from the government of Novgorod, the two motifs alternating as the fight gives advantage first on one side and then on the other. As time goes on, the Russian theme become more and more predominant, and La Marseillaise dies gradually away. Napoleon is beaten, and his army is in retreat. The victorious Russians give themselves up to rejoicing, the famous bells of Moscow peal forth gloriously in honor of Russian victory, and the fine rhythmic melody of the national hymn is heard triumphantly thundered out.

- Program Note by Richard Franko Goldman, in Program Notes for Band


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Stuart (Fla.) Community Concert Band (Jim LeBon, conductor) - 27 October 2019

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • 1812 Overture. Wikipedia. Accessed 29 June 2018
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 583.
  • Tchaikovsky, P.; Hanna, P. (1997). 1812 Overture, op. 49 : Highlights [score]. TBQ Press: Tallahassee, Fla.