You know, there are a lot of avant-garde musicians who use non-instruments in their music. Stuff like pots and pans and saws and other objects. Yet Tchaikovsky gets off with using cannon fire in the “1812 Overture” and he’s fine.
I’m just kidding, though. Tchaikovsky’s work (which was commissioned in celebrating the 70th anniversary of the defense of Moscow against Napoleon, but in 1974 took a life of its own in the States with the Boston Pops playing it for the 4th of July) is an incredible, bombastic (in more ways than one) work fit for any grand occasion (and, in my case, keeping awake and pumped up when writing a long report). It’s a work of grand celebration, and I think we’re all excited when it is played every Independence Day – even if it has nothing to do with it.