This sequence is based on the melody of Alexei Lvov’s hymn, God Save the Tsar, which is featured prominently in Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.
1812 Overture was written in 1880 to commemorate the successful Russian defense against the invasion by Napoleon’s army in 1812. The piece was debuted in Moscow in 1882 and later conducted by Tchaikovsky himself at the 1891 dedication of Carnegie Hall in New York city.
The hymn, God Save the Tsar, was written by Alexei Lvov for a competition in 1833 and became the national anthem of the Russian Empire until the Revolution in 1917. When Tchaikovsky wrote this overture, God Save the Tsar had been the national anthem for almost 50 years, and was at that point the most Russian song of all time.
During the Soviet era, authorities edited this melody out of Tchaikovky’s 1812 overture and March Slave, and replaced it with approved “patriotic” melodies.
In 1812, Tchaikovsky masterfully quotes and blends orthodox hymns, the French National Anthem, Russian folk music, cannon shots, and God Save the Tsar into a stunning musical product that tells the story of the legendary Russian victory.
Start each note crisply and clearly, like a cannon shot booming in the distance. This melody was written to be sung, so strive to sound like a giant chorus singing intensely in a joyous unison. The sequence will require more and more air as you descend. Make sure you protect the rhythmic pulse as your breathing becomes more frequent.
This sequence will improve your tone, your crisp articulations, and your intonation.
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