Composed on 24 March/5 April 1893 at Klin (according to the date on the manuscript). Written at the request of the commander of the 98th Yurevsky Infantry Regiment—Andrey Tchaikovsky. The request was prompted by a desire for the regiment to have its own march, which was an essential tradition in the Imperial Russian army.
Andrey Tchaikovsky explained the sort of march he wanted: "There should be three sections in all, with something melodic and increasingly noisy" . Tchaikovsky fulfilled the request and wrote the march for piano, sending to his cousin it the following day, together with a letter in which he wrote: "I have carried out my promise, and am sending you the march. It will have to be orchestrated by your Kapellmeister, because I don't know the compliment of forces in your orchestra. I am sending you the piano arrangement, and let him orchestrate it; if it must be noisy, then it can be augmented without changing the essence of it, i.e. the harmony and the melody must remain intact" .
The earliest sketches of the march were noted in the copybook containing the sketches of the Sixth Symphony, and the manuscript of the romance The Sun has Set—No. 4 of Six Romances (Op. 73). Much later, the composer received another request from Andrey Tchaikovsky, this time for a trio for the march: "I did not notice your words that there should be 3 sections in all, and did not write a Trio for the march. Now I know that it’s required, I’m hurrying to send it to you", the composer informed Andrey in a letter of 5/17 May 1893 . The sketches for the trio were made by Tchaikovsky on the manuscript of the piece Passé lontain from the Eighteen Pieces (Op. 72).
From: Музыкальное наследие Чайковского (1958), p. 417
This page was last updated on 12 February 2013