Wednesday Music: Tchaikovsky’s Slavonic March

This may sound presumptuous of me, everyone, but I think I’ve truly outdone myself this week with my selection of music. You see, I managed to find something that’s not only classical, but Russian. And it’s not Russian solely in the sense that it was written by a Russian composer. No, this piece is unabashedly and patriotically Russian, which is awesome.

It’s called Slavonic March (though some prefer to call it by the French name Marche Slave) by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. My favorite name for it is the Serbo-Russian march, though, because those are my two favorite Slavic countries.*

Here’s a little bit about this fabulous piece:

  • Tchaikovsky was commissioned to write this for the Serbo-Turkish War that took place from 1876 to 1878. The Serbs had been oppressed in the Ottoman Empire for centuries and the Russians, who have always been pretty pro-Serbian, supported them. The piece premiered in 1876.
  • The piece is in three parts. Part one describes the oppression that the Serbs suffered, part two describes the Russians rallying to help the Serbs, and part three describes the Russian volunteers marching to help the Serbs.
  • My absolute favorite fact about this piece is it contains more than a few bars of the tsarist national anthem, “God Save The Tsar.” If you want to try to pick out the national anthem in the Slavonic March, listen to this recording of the anthem first.

Here’s a video. Enjoy it and soak up all the Russian patriotism! 🇷🇺 (By the way, there’s supposed to be a little Russian flag emoji right before this sentence that I really hope shows up in everyone’s browser…)

Or click here to see on YouTube.

*I pretty much love ALL Slavic countries, okay? It’s just that I love the Russian and Serbian languages the best. One of my dreams is to someday learn to speak Serbian. Random, but true.

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