This is our ninth week of the Lunch with the Composers feature! If you are new to Frugal Fun for Boys, let me explain a little. Lunch with the Composers is designed to be an easy way to teach your kids about classical music. Each Sunday night (mostly), I post a piece of classical music with some information about the work and the composer. At our house, we listen to the music of the week each day during lunch, and by the end of the week, the boys are getting pretty good at remembering the name of the piece and the composer.
I almost didn’t do this piece because it is so well known, but the boys have been asking for it every since hearing it on the PBS Kids show Curious George! (I have no idea how it factored into the plot on Curious George… I haven’t seen that one!) Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky wrote his famous 1812 Overture in 1880. Even though the overture is often used for patriotic events in the United States, it has nothing to do with America! The piece was commissioned to celebrate Russia’s successful defense of Moscow against Napoleon in the Battle of Borodino in 1812. If you are familiar with the tunes, you can recognize parts of the French National Anthem (La Marseillaise) and God Save the Tsar.
The complete 1812 Overture is broken up into two parts in this recording, but be sure to watch all the way to the end of the second part – there’s canon fire!