Tchaikovsky’s 1812: A Dishonest Overture?

September the 7th, 1812. Near the village of Borodino, just 30 miles from Moscow, the forces of Tsarist Russia face the might of Napoleon’s grande armée. James Jolly explores Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, written to commemorate this battle, and discovers hidden depths in this famous crowd-pleaser, which plays fast and loose with historical fact.

With contributions from historian Orlando Figes, Russian music expert Geoffrey Norris, and conductors Andrew Litton and Vasily Petrenko. Part of Radio 3’s Napoleon season.