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"'God Save the Tsar!'" was the national anthem of the Russian Empire. The song was chosen from a competition held in 1833 and was first performed on 18 December 1833. It was composed by violinist Alexei Lvov, with lyrics written by the court poet Vasily Zhukovsky. It was the anthem until the Russian Revolution of 1917, after which "Worker's Marseillaise" was adopted as the new national anthem until the overthrow of the Russian Provisional Government.
Alexei Lvov accompanied Nicholas I on his visit to Austria and Prussia in 1833, where the emperor was saluted with the "God Save the King" everywhere. The melody of the "God Save the King" has been widely used by various powers at the same time since the end of the 18th century, including Russia. The emperor was unimpressed by the monarchical solidarity song, and upon his return, he ordered Lvov, his closest musician, to compose a new anthem. Under the title "Prayer of the Russian People," the new anthem, which music by Alexei Lvov, and lyrics by Vasily Zhukovsky, was first performed on December 18, 1833 (according to other accounts, December 25). On December 31, 1833, it was adopted as the ImperialRussianNational Anthem. Under the new name of "God Save the Tsar!", which lasted until February Revolution of 1917.' . .' . // - . 2009. 4. .35.
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Many composers made use of the theme in their compositions, most notably Tchaikovsky, who quoted it in the 1812 Overture, the 'Marche Slave', his overture on the Danish national anthem, and the Festival Coronation March. During the Soviet era, authorities altered Tchaikovsky's music (such as the 1812 Overture and 'Marche Slave'), substituting other patriotic melodies, such as the "Glory" chorus from Mikhail Glinka's opera 'A Life for the Tsar', for "God Save the Tsar". Charles Gounod uses the theme in his Fantaisie sur l'Hymne National Russe (Fantasy on the Russian National Hymn). William Walton's score for the 1970 film 'Three Sisters', based on Chekhov's play, is dominated by the theme.
In 1842, English author Henry Chorley wrote "God, the Omnipotent!", set to Lvov's tune and published in 19th- and 20th-century hymnals as the 'Russian Hymn'. The 'Russian Hymn' tune continues to appear in various modern English language hymnals, such as those of the United Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church, the 'Lutheran Book of Worship' of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, or as 'Russia' in 'The Hymnal 1982' of the U.S. Episcopal Church.
The same melody is also used with different lyrics for various institutional songs: Doxology of Phi Gamma Delta, "Noble Fraternity" of Phi Kappa Psi, West Chester University Alma Mater, "Hail, Pennsylvania!" (alma mater of the University of Pennsylvania),Hail Pennsylvania - Acapella Performance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axioaLyZP9o "Dear Old Macalester" (alma mater of Macalester College),Dear Old Macalester - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y13-e2iEcbs "Hail, Delta Upsilon" (Delta Upsilon fraternity), "Firm Bound in Brotherhood" (official song of the Order of the Arrow),Piano Performance of Firm Bound in Brotherhood - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHae1qWj5RI the 'UST High School Hymn' of the University of Santo Tomas High School in Manila,UST Hymn - Instrumental Guitar https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-ElH_t7ILg and the alma mater of Texas Woman's University, Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas in Dallas, Texas, Westover School in Middlebury, Connecticut titled "Raise Now to Westover", Tabor Academy in Marion, Massachusetts, Dimmitt High School in Dimmitt, Texas, Grant High School in Portland, Oregon, Jesuit High School in Tampa, Florida, Windber Area High School in Windber, Pennsylvania and the former St Peters High School in McKeesport, Pennsylvania.
Maurice Jarre's score for the film 1965 film 'Doctor Zhivago' uses this song in several tracks, most notably in the Overture.
In 1998, singer-songwriter Alexander Gradsky, one of the best-known rock artists during the Soviet period, proposed using the song again as the Russian national anthem, but with substantially different lyrics from those originally written by Zhukovsky.Alexander Gradsky Official Website - https://alexandergradsky.com/publication/s00_24.shtml
*'The Prayer of the Russians', another anthem with a near-identical incipit
*'O Sanctissima', a Catholic Marian hymn with a similar melody
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