I woke up this morning with Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture in my head, lord knows why. When I was a youngster, my folks had a Mercury album version, conducted by Antal Dorati, recorded in 1955, I believe. It featured a fabulous orchestration of the piece, followed by a narrated account of how the sound effects (cannon and bells) were compiled for the recording. I used to listen to the album endlessly when I was around four or five, and I probably haven't heard that particular version since I was around ten. I figured I'd look for it on YouTube, on the off chance I might find a decent recording of the music.
The entire Mercury album was the first thing that came up on my search. And what a treat to listen to the narrative for the first time since I was just a wee lad. Sometimes, I really do love the InterWebz...
It's in three parts, so I'm putting the links here. Don't know if you'll enjoy it as much as I do, but it is a brilliant piece, after all.
May you have a Happy New Year. Or at least one that stops shy of hideous.