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Ladies and Gentlemen at this Forum,

I have read a description of 1812 by Brett Langston that I found on line indicating that a melody in The Year 1812 was a melody from a previous opera The Voevoda. I have ordered his book to find out which, but I have a concert this weekend (June 7) with the work and would really like to know which of the melodies this is and what kind of text it might have had in the original opera. Also, in the article on the internet Mr. Langston writes that the Russian folk song "By the gates" is used. I would like to know which melody this is and if there is an English translation to the lyrics of this song available anywhere. If any or all of this information were available or I could contact Mr. Langston about it to at least see, I would greatly appreciate it. I look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes,

David Hagy

The overture's second subject (bars 165–183, 187–194 and 279–290 in the recapitulation), was taken from Act II of The Voevoda, where it formed part of the duet for Mar'ia Vlas'evna and Olena (No. 8, bars 1–19, 25–32).

The jaunty theme with tambourine accompanient that rounds off the second subject was the folk-song "By the Gates" (bars 207–214, 299–302), which Tchaikovsky had already harmonized in his set of Fifty Russian Folk-Songs (No. 48). However, the arrangement was published without words.

Coincidentally, Musorgsky set the same song for male chorus as one of his Five Russian Folksongs in the same year that Tchaikovsky wrote 1812 (1880). Like many Russian folk-songs, its idiomatic text can seem nonsensical when translated literally into English. ("By the gates, the gates / The gates of men / Children were playing", etc.). But should you be able to find a native Russian speaker to give you the gist, here is the Cyrillic text:

У ворот-ворот,
Ворот батюшкиных,
Разыгралися ребята,
Еще мне ли, молодцу,
Плохо можется,
Гулять хочется.
Я украдуся,
Я сапожки на ножки,
Смуръ кафтанчикъ на плечахъ,
Черна шляпа на кудряхъ,
Перчаточки на рукахъ,
И гудочекъ подъ полой,
Подъ правою стороной,
Подъ правою стороной,
Со серебряной струной.

I hope this will be helpful, and wish you well with the concert

Brett Langston

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