- 1812 -- Festival Overture, for orchestra in E flat major, Op. 49
- Eugene Onegin, opera, Op. 24: Polonaise
- Capriccio Italien, for orchestra (or piano duet), Op. 45
- Slavonic March, for orchestra, Op. 31
- Eugene Onegin, opera, Op. 24: Waltz
- Festival Coronation March, for orchestra (or piano) in D major
- Mazeppa, opera: Cossack Dance
"Caution! Digital Cannons" read the warning label on the cover of Telarc's groundbreaking 1978 release of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. The label made recording history with that album by using cutting-edge digital technology for the first time -- recording live cannon fire and a carillon for inclusion in the rousing finale. In this all-new 2001 recording, the cast of characters is the same (Telarc, conductor Erich Kunzel, and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra), but the technology is up-to-date and even more impressive. This time the warning label reads "Caution! DSD Cannons" -- referring to "direct stream digital encoding," the next-generation recording technology -- and the sound quality is spectacularly high. The new version contains all the components of the old one (orchestra, bells, cannons) but it also includes the Kiev Symphony Chorus, who, in an unusual move, sing the Russian folk song that begins the Overture, usually played by the orchestra. The Kiev choristers return -- along with everything else -- in the climactic battle scene, making for an 1812 of exceptional splendor. Six other Tchaikovsky orchestral works are included as well, only two of which -- the Cossack's dance from Mazeppa and the Capriccio Italien -- were on the original program. Dances from Eugene Onegin, the Marche Slave, and the Festival Coronation March fill out this disc. The orchestral playing crackles with energy, and Kunzel leads with the proper mixture of bravura and gravity to suit the program. But the 1812 is the great achievement here. You'll need no other reason to pick up this disc.