||TH 50 ; ČW 47 (as "Festival Coronation
||Andante molto maestoso (D major, 125 bars)
||Piccolo, 2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, English Horn, 2 Clarinets (A), 2 Bassoons
+ 4 Horns (F), 2 Cornets (A), 2 Trumpets (D), 3 Trombones, Tuba + Timpani,
Triangle, Cymbals, Bass Drum + Violins I, Violins II, Violas, Cellos,
||Also arranged for solo piano by Tchaikovsky, March 1883
- Moscow, Sokolniki
Park, Coronation festival concert, 23 May/4 June 1883, conducted by Sergey Taneyev
- Saint Petersburg,
4th Russian Musical Society symphony concert, 29 December 1884/10
January 1885, conducted by Hans von Bülow (as Festival March)
- New York, [Carnegie]
Concert Hall, opening concert, 23 April/5 May 1891, conducted by
- London, Organ School.
student concert, 29 November/11 December 1894, conducted by George
||Moscow (Russia): Glinka National Museum Consortium of Musical Culture — full score
||Moscow: P. Jurgenson, 1883 (full
score and Tchaikovsky's arrangement for solo piano)
||A study score is available for
IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library
Commissioned by the Mayor of the City of Moscow for the occasion of the coronation
of Alexander III in May 1883,
for a performance in Sokol’niky Park.
Tchaikovsky received the commission while in Paris, where he was busy with the instrumentation
of his opera Mazepa, and
he protested his great displeasure at being forced to interrupt this work.
Tchaikovsky began composing the march on 5/17 March, according to the date
in the notebook containing sketches for the march and the cantata Moscow.
On 9/21 March 1883, he wrote to Nadezhda von Meck: "My plans
have been upset by two unexpected and very burdensome tasks foisted upon me.
The city of Moscow have commissioned
from me a ceremonial march to be played at the festivities which are to be organized
for the Sovereign at the Sokol’niky...
Hardly had I managed to reconcile myself to the thought that I must tear myself
away from the opera for the march, when suddenly I received a letter from the
festival committee about a cantata . Both works, especially the cantata, have to be ready
very soon, a prospect which fills me with dread" . Later he reported the same to Sofya Malozemova , Sergey Taneyev , and Aleksey Sofronov .
On 7/19 March, he told Pyotr
Jurgenson that the march should be ready within ten days. "This goes very
much against my instincts, because I am generally not disposed to composition,
and what’s more, I have had to set aside my poor unfinished opera for this" .
In another letter to Jurgenson
of 12/24 March he reported that: "I am now simultaneously writing the March
and the cantata... My days are spent as follows: in the morning until 12 o'clock
I write the march; after a stroll, from 2.30 to 6.30 I write the cantata...
I will send you the March, as you wanted, with an arrangement for 2 hands" .
By around 21 March/2 April both the cantata and the march had been completed
in sketch form, and Tchaikovsky had commenced the orchestration of both works .
On 23 March/4 April Tchaikovsky told Pyotr Jurgenson: "I have finished
the march, and will look through it once more and send it to you in a few days" .
On 26 March/7 April both manuscripts were sent to Pyotr Jurgenson .
The Coronation March was performed for the first time on 23 May/4 June 1883
in the Sokol’niky (Moscow), conducted
by Sergey Taneyev; in Saint Petersburg on
29 December 1884/10 January 1885 under the title Festival March, in the fourth symphony
concert of the Russian Musical Society, conducted by Hans von Bülow.
The full score and orchestral parts of the March, the author's arrangement
for piano two hands, and Eduard
Langer’s arrangement for piano duet were published by Pyotr Jurgenson in 1883.
Музыкальное наследие Чайковского (1958), pp. 297–298
English text copyright © 2006 Brett Langston
- i.e. the cantata Moscow [back]
- Letter 2236 to Nadezhda von Meck, 9/21 March
- Letter 2243 to Sofya Malozemova, 21
March/2 April 1883 [back]
- Letter 2253 to Sergey Taneyev,
1/13–3/15 April 1883 [back]
- Letter 2237 to Aleksey Sofronov, 11/23
March 1883 [back]
- Letter 2235 to Pyotr Jurgenson, 7/19 March
- Letter 2239 to Pyotr Jurgenson, 12/24 March
- Letter 2244 to Nadezhda von Meck, 21 March/2
April 1883 [back]
- Letter 2245 to Pyotr Jurgenson, 23 March/4
April 1883 [back]
- See letters 2248 and 2250 to Pyotr Jurgenson, 25 March/6
April and 26 March/7 April 1883 [back]