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Written in 1869 and revised up to 1880, the Romeo and Juliet Overture was Tchaikovsky's first acknowledged masterpiece and today remains among the most popular orchestral compositions ever written. Composed when Tchaikovsky was 29, the Overture, according to Grove's Dictionary, was "carried out with such ardent conviction that the work seems to glow and throb with youthful passion and tenderness."
By comparison, his brilliantly scored Capriccio Italien is a spirited evocation of Mediterranean life and scenery, animated and full of vitality. A work, says Grove's, "of unshadowed gaiety and abounding in striking effects." Written in 1880, when Tchaikovsky's position in the music world was fairly well established in Russia, the piece brought him to the brink of international fame and recognition.
Permeated with imagination and a wealth of melodic inspiration, these compositions continue to evoke an enthusiastic response from musicians and listeners alike. Students, teachers, and music lovers everywhere will be delighted with this convenient, one-volume edition of both scores, reprinted from an authoritative Russian edition of Tchaikovsky's works. The original Russian footnotes have been specially translated into English for this edition.