Sunday morning music


Last week we heard one of my favorite recordings of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture”.  To continue the martial theme, here’s Beethoven’s “Wellington’s Victory“, Op. 91.  He wrote it to commemorate the victory of the Marquess (later Duke) of Wellington over Joseph Bonaparte’s forces at the Battle of Vitoria in 1813.

I’ll put up two versions of the piece.  The first is with a traditional orchestra.  Antal Dorati conducts the London Symphony Orchestra.

The second version is with a military brass band and re-enactors.  It features the combined bands of the Household Division at the Horse Guards Parade in 2013, Beating Retreat in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen.  The recording isn’t visually pleasing (the perspective is distorted), but you can get some idea of how the piece was often performed during the early years of the 19th Century as a crowd-pleaser and military celebration of victory over Napoleon Bonaparte.

Not as well-known in modern times as Tchaikovsky’s war memorial piece, but perhaps even more popular in its day.


1 comment

  1. I was privileged to attend a "first session of parliament," a VIP tour of the Tower of London (an evening tour) and a horse guards retreat on a trip to London years ago, all arranged be a very well connected surname "surrogate" of mine. All were impressive, but the performance of the military band in that venue was breathtaking. The second clip was a great reminder and I can tell you the security, pomp and circumstance, and performance were second to none.

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