God Save the Tsar : Alexei Lvov

"God Save the Tsar" (sometimes spelled "Czar") is a former National Anthem of Russia. It was written by Alexei Lvov and became the Anthem by virtue of winning a competition to choose the Anthem in 1833 and remained as the country's anthem until the Russian Revolution in 1917. The lyrics strongly suggest it was modelled on God Save the Queen which at the time was well-established in the UK. Although the Anthem was written much later than the events of 1812, Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture quotes the Anthem at the climax to illustrate the victorious Russian forces repelling the advance of Napoleon's army. The overture also uses the French Anthem La Marseillaise to represent Napoleon's troops. Although this had been written before 1812, Napoleon had banned it as the National Anthem. Nevertheless audiences in Tchaikovsky's time would understand the symbolism and not be too worried about historical accuracy. The melody of "God Save the Tsar" has also been used as a hymn called the "Russian Hymn" in various hymnals.

The following arrangement is for piano and can be played as a solo, or used to accompany singers and other instruments. The Anthems of other selected countries can be found in our article National Anthems and Patriotic Songs.

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