Music Analysis: Comparing 'William Tell Overture' and 'Overture 1812'

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Comparing the William Tell Overture and the Overture 1812 The William Tell Overture ("WTO") became well known to the general public when it was used as the theme song for The Lone Ranger, a popular western that entertained millions first as a radio serial, then a television program. WTO was composed by Gioachino Rossini as the instrumental introduction to the opera titled Guillaume Tell. The last of Rossini's thirty-nine operas, it debuted in 1829 towards the beginning of what is considered the Romantic Period in musical history. WTO (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4PS8-_5UFw) begins as a pastoral piece, with flutes, clarinets and oboes taking turns with the melody, embellished by trills. A triangle provides an almost imperceptible ringing, reminiscent of dew shimmering on grass. Suddenly, at about 2:40, the orchestra erupts with the familiar "Lone Ranger" theme. Brass, woodwinds, strings and percussion convey a sense of drama and urgency. At about four minutes, the strings carry the melody and the volume drops, building again within the next minute as all instruments of the orchestra contribute to the sound and excitement. The piece continues to building in volume and tempo until its conclusion. It is very similar in this way to the Overture 1812, creating a military mood with tempo, rhythms and instrumentation. The Overture 1812 ("1812") was composed in 1880 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, the most famous of all Russian composers and perhaps best-loved for his ballet

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