Program Notes

TCHAIKOVSKY: Marche slave, Opus 31

The Marche slave (Slavonic March) was composed because of the endless conflicts in the Balkans and, by extension, Russia and Turkey. In 1876 Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-93) was commissioned for a work to be played at a benefit concert for the Slavonic Charity Committee, an organization whose double task was to raise money to buy equipment for Russian volunteer soldiers and to provide relief for war victims. Tchaikovsky used parts of several Serbian folk songs in his Marche slave. For the climax, just as he would again in the 1812 Overture, he brings in Alexey Fyodorovich Lvov’s grand hymn “God Save the Tsar.”

(July 2019)

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