Memphis native Mary Phillipa Sledge has experience in areas ranging from advertising and feature films to horseback-riding competitions. More recently, she partnered with Spencer Proffer to create SledgePro Media Enterprises. In her leisure time, Mary Phillipa Sledge enjoys listening to classical music, such as Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.
Since Tchaikovsky wrote his 1812 Overture in 1880, it has become internationally famous. In the United States, it is played in many celebrations of Independence Day on July Fourth. However, although the piece is replete with the sounds of cannon fire and revolutionary celebration, there is only a tangential connection to the U.S. holiday in that it rejoices in liberation from tyranny. Some of the true facts are very interesting.
1. Tchaikovsky wrote the 1812 Overture in celebration of Russia’s victory against Napoleon in 1812, which had nothing to do with the U.S. War of 1812.
2. The 1812 Overture includes pieces from several other songs, including the French national anthem, La Marseillaise; the Russian national anthem, God Save the Czar; and a Russian Orthodox hymn, Troparion of the Holy Cross.
3. Tchaikovsky actually despised the 1812 Overture. In his own words, he described it as “very loud and noisy and completely without artistic merit, obviously written without warmth or love.”