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1812 Overture

About five years ago I bought my first CD player! I immediately went nuts buying CD's. Including three, yes three, copies of Tchaikovsky's Fourth symphony. On one of those CD's was the 1812 Overture. Far out I thought. Wait! What's this?! There is the Mormon Tabernacle Choir SINGING what appears to be a hymm to the first part of it. I had never heard this before. Now comes the QUESTION! Where can I get those words? As some of them are sung very softly or drawn out, I cannot make them out. Does anybody perchance know where I might find the words? If it will help, I can give you the start. Help? Please? Thanks.

Michael King

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #1
If I remember correctly, this part of 1812 contains a Russian Orthodox liturgical hymn -"tropar"- which starts with the words "Spasí, Góspodi, ljoúdi tvojá..." (in Church Slavonic), meaning "Save, o Lord, Thy people...". In Tsarist Russia, not only the "people" but also the name of the reigning Tsar (and sometimes even his family) was mentioned in the hymn and I don't now remember the name of the Tsar in 1812. If your interested, I can send you the full text (modern version) and music (NWC, of course)as sung today in the Russian Orthodox Church, but certainly Tchajkosky's version is more elaborated and meant for a bigger choir than the version actually used in the Russian Church today.

Best wishes
Paul

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #2
Two suggestions:

1. They are singing the old (imperial) Russian National Anthem.

2. They are singing 'God the all-terrible! King' which is hymn number 491 in 'Hymns Ancient & Modern Revised'.

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #3
Paul and Peter:

Say you two aren't saints are you?:) I thank you both for your replies. I just started the CD and it starts out "O mighty God, preserve us from jeopardy", then it trails off so I can't understand what they are singing. Darn male voices anyhow!

Paul, I would love the words and music. Thank you very much!

Peter, where do I find that hymm book? Never mind, I'll just have to go looking for it I suppose.

Once again my thanks.

Michael King
Mykul1@earthlink.net

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #4
Hymns Ancient & Modern is the Hymn Book of the Church of England and only easly available in the UK (I would think). But fear not! Follow the link from NWC to 'The Cyber Hymnal' and there you will find 'God the Omnipotent!'

http://tch.simplenet.com/htm/g/godtheom.htm

HTH
Peter

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #5
Thanks again. I thought I was going to have to fly off to Jolly Old England and steal, I mean buy a copy!:)

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #6
My choir sang it last year for a gig with the Royal Marines and the Russian Army Orchestra and a somewhat mercurial Russian General conducting. It's a fantastic sing (particularly the bass voices) and was a great series of performances. I have the English lyrics but it will take me about 36 hours to post. I also have the SATB in Eb. Regards, John

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #7
Gee, John, only 36 hours? What are you waiting for, an invitation? :) Just kidding! Thank you for the info. Best regards;

Michael King

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #8
The English translation of "God Protect the Tsar" is
"God Protect the Tsar, He who holds power;
Reign for glory, for our glory.
Reign to the terror of our enemies,
Orthodox Tsar!
God Protect the Tsar!"

"Bozhe Tsarya Hrani
Silni derzhavi
Tsarstvui na slavu,na slavu nam.
Tsarstvui na strax vragam
Tsar Pravoslavni
Bozhe Tsarya Hrani."

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #9
QUICK! Name a well-known overture written between the years 1811 and 1813.

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #10
This Troparion translates into English as
"O Lord, save Thy people
and bless Thine inheritance.
Grant victory to Orthodox Christians
and grant us Thy great mercy."

There are many, many musical scores to this Troparion, which, before "God Save the Tsar" was the Russian National Anthem. I think I know which music you are talking about, the one which seems to be most popular in our weekly Liturgies, but do not know the composer.

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #11
The Tsar in 1812 was Alexander II. I think that the section you may be referring to in the 1812 Overture is "Bozhe Tsarya Xrani" - "God Protect the Tsar" - which became the Russian National Anthem after the previously referred to Troparion "O Lord Save Thy People" - a part of the Eastern Orthodox Liturgy whether Russian or not - which, before "God Protect the Tsar," was indeed the Russian National Anthem. Can't remember when the National Anthem was changed, but the most recent was composed by Lvov. I do know that "Bozhe Tsarya Xrani" is played briefly in the 1812 Overture; cannot recall "O Lord, Save Thy People" being part of it.

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #12
Actually, JM, I tried but couldn't come up with any. None of Beethoven's overtures was written in 1812 (according to the New Grove dictionary, the closest is the Fidelio overture of 1814). I thought of Mendelssohn and Weber, but 1812 is about 10 years too early for either of them. Schubert wrote an overture in D major in that year, but it's not "well-known". So I'm at a loss. What am I missing?

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #13
How about these not so famous operas presumably with overtures by Rossini:

L'inganno felice

Ciro in Babilonia

La scala di seta

La pietra del paragone

L'occasione fa il ladro

All first performed in 1812 and possibly written the same year. Although the premier of L'inganno felice was on 8 January 1812 - not a lot of time to get the production together.

Perhaps almost qualifying as famous is Tancredi (I've even played the overture) which was first perfomed on 6 Feb 1813 and therefore was probably finished during 1812. I'll go for that one.

Information from http://rick.stanford.edu/opera/Rossini

Stephen

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #14
Rossini - of course! That's what I was missing.

Prolific son of a gun, wasn't he?

I can console myself with the fact that none of the overtures you mention - not even Tancredi - seems to merit the description "well-known".

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #15
The only one I've ever /heard of/ is La scala di seta, and that's just because the overture is on a sort of "best of GR" CD I own. So I guess it's well-known if you happen to have that particular record. :)

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #16
Sorry, the "well known" was gratuitous!

I heard the question (without the "well-known") on a music trivia panel discussion at a classical radio station several years ago. Of course, the question draws laughter, because "1812 Overture" is definitely wrong.

If the time interval is expanded a bit, say 1809 to 1815, then indeed one can find "well-known" in Beethoven.

As for the start of this thread, the first time I ever heard the 1812 overture, on a vinyl record, it had the Russian chorus (group at beginning, men's chorus at cannonade). I don't have the liner notes anymore, but I do recall that the opening was supposed to be a "well-known" Russian church hymn to the Virgin.

It is said that song is best in Italian or French, less so in German or English. But Russian is the only language in which a composer tried to drown out the chorus with cannons.

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #17
Also have this great cd. It's Essentials Classic (Sony), isn't it?

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #18
This is what I can make out, although the fourth and sixth lines are kind of sketchy (at best).

Mighty Lorrrrrdddd,
Preserve us from jeopardyyyyyyy.
Take thee now our faaaaaate
and glowwwww briiiight in peniteeeeence
and bee-eeee with me
o'er trecherous and cruel and unease and through all and bring peace.
O mighty Lord hear our lowwwwly prayerrrrr,
and by the liiiiight shining fully, light.
Grant uuuuus, O Lord, peaaaaaace agaaain.
<music>...

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #19
oh, I hear this in the 6th line now:
o'er our trecherous and cruel our heaven peace and to our land bring peace.

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #20
Regarding the sixth line, however it may be translated:

A Russian-speaking friend (who did not have access to the chorus in Russian, alas) tell me that the extra length (numerous syllables) of that line is a characteristic of some Orthodox Church music. Apparently, some of the words are conjugated in a way that introduces many syllables, and since the prayer has a rather fixed content, it is necessary to squeeze it all in.

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #21
I think the 6th line says:

O'er Trecherous and crue and grand unease and to our land
bring peace.

And, I think the 8th line says:

And by Light, Shinning Holy Light, Grand us oh Lord Peace
again.

But I am not sure.

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #22
i have gathered the lyrics from this page and put the right ones in one place, here:

Mighty Lord,
Preserve us from jeopardy.
Take thee now our fate
and glow bright in penitence
and be-e with me
O'er trecherous and cruel and grand unease and to our land bring peace.
O mighty Lord hear our lowly prayer,
and by light, shinning holy light, grant us oh Lord Peace again.
<little music>
O mighty Lord hear our prayer.
...

But, The overture was not written in 1812, it was written around 1880. A little known fact is that Tchaikovsky never actually heard it the way he wrote it.

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #23
Understandably, Tchaikovsky felt this piece was "very noisy" and "with no artistic merit," which is true, especially for his music, but it is still a good, inspiring piece--the use it was supposed to serve when comissioned for the opening of the Moscow Exhibition. It was written to commemorate Napolean's retreat for Moscow (hence the French National Anthem that gets buried in the melee of runs and, what the original score calls for, "all the bells of Russia"). The singing was not part of the original intention. This was brought into the picture by a performance in the U.S. after World War I. It seems to have stuck, and other orchestras have picked it up.

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #24
Hey all,

I remember browsing this post last year...wow. Anyways, can someone maybe give me the name and any other pertinent info regarding a CD that has this 1812 overture w/ vocals? I just have the mp3 and am very much interested in purchasing the "legit" version. Please email @ mcarlyle@iastate.edu with any info...thanks!

Mitch

 

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #25
I hope this doesn't come across as being condescending, but did you try to read the ID3 tag in the mp3? Often they have the name of the original CD. In WinAmp you can view the ID3 info by clicking the middle button on the left.

Fred

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #26
While you are trying to find the 1812 CD with vocals, if there is a used (vinyl) record shop in your area, have a look. I remember having a record with the Russian chorus included. It was probably recorded in the early 1970s.

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #27
I think the Tsar was Alexander I

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #28
Fred,

Thanks for the advice...looked at the ID3 tag, and fate was not in my corner. No luck...but thanks a mil for the suggestion! Take Care.

Mitch

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #29
Has anyone here tried audiogalaxy to find this song?
I have this program and can seek it out if asked...

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #30
ok...i love the 1812 Overture. i love it so much that it inspired me to write a script. now, the beginning part of the song (the hymn) has been a mystery for me as far as lyrics are concerned. i have gotten a few words hear and there, but someone here got practically all of it, but not ALL of it...

the last line is VERY HAZY for me and i'm gonna guess on this one

Mighty Lord,
Preserve us from jeopardy.
Take thee now our fate
and glow bright in penitence
and be-e with me
O'er trecherous and cruel and grand unease and to our land bring peace.
O mighty Lord hear our lowly prayer,
and by light, shinning holy light, grant us oh Lord Peace again.
<little music>
O mighty Lord hear our prayer
and save our people
forever FOR-EV-ER

then the boom that starts out the music
...

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #31
this is so funny. i have long enjoyed the 1812 overture and have always wondered what the lyrics to the beginning were. it wasn't until tonight, however, when i finally decided that i just had to find out what they were. upon finally finding this site i thought "crap, august 1999, all this stuff will be outdated by now." but low and behold someone replies w/ the full lyrics 2 days ago! hahaha...awesome!! thanks everyone!!!!!

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #32
As I recall, it's "our treacherous and cruel enemies and to our land bring peace." An appropriate prayer at this time...

I was hoping to find the whole prayer here, but it seems I know as much as anyone maybe :-(

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #33
This particular chant has long fascinated me.

Actually I had never heard it until 1995 when Andrew Litton, conducting the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, perfomed the 1812 Overture to kick off a night of Russian CLassical Music. Being a freshly degreed Russian Major from Texas A&M, I was really upset that I could not attend (it was a sellout), so I had to listen over the radio.

The DSO brought over 2 Russian Chorale Tutors, and tought the affiliated chorus to sing the pieces, and to do so properly. As I listened over the radio, tears began streaming down my cheeks, it was THAT beautiful. And correct, to my ear.

Fortunately, it came out on CD, and it is one of my cherished recordings. It has become the standard by which I judge all 1812 recordings I have / hear. A close 2nd is one recorded in Mineapolis in the early 60s (I think) that featured actual muskets and bronze cannon from the US Mil. Acad. @ West Point as well as a massive carrilon on site. Truly magnificent.

I have also found a wonderful Russian recording with those incredibly deep basses that Russian Chorales seem to thrive on.

Does anyone have link to the lyrics IN RUSSIAN?

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #34
Glad to see this discussion alive. I tried to find these answers in 1998, but with little success. It seems that the
intervening years have served the internet well. Thanks to Casey for the historical tidbits and to Clay for the DSO info; I've gotten CD's from them before.

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #35
Surfing the 'net in an effort to find the Russiona lyrics to the hymn opening the mighty 1812 and delighted to have come across your site.

I certainly share Clay's desire to locate the Russian lyrics. I have an old tape of Eugene Ormandy the Philadelphia Orchestra - not marvellous quality at all and my Russian simply isn't good enough to get the words (Lord I have troubel with choirs in English!).

To all those experiencing difficulty in getting lyrics perhaps I can offer some sympathy. I worked in Moscow in the mid 80s and regularly went to the state-owned music stores 'Melodiya'. Ravaging through the 'gramplastinkis' there were the usual favourites and occassionally a really good find for next to nothing. But alas never once did I come across the 1812. Worse still the store staff had never heard of it. My local contacts could never give me an explanation why it wasn't avaialble. So I left empty handed and never once heard it played there.

So, I join your ranks as a frustrated 1812 chaser. But I am grateful for the leads where I can at least get the English language version (though I do not expect them to match the chilling Russian voices but would still be happy to settle for one). I understand ABC FM Radio here in Asutralia a couple of months ago played an excellent choral version. I'll follow that up and post the results.

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #36
thank you all, i used to have this cd and always wondered about the chorus lyrics. this is my favorite version of the overture. does anyone know which orchestra this is?

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #37
My wife, a Muscovite, is unable to decipher the russian lyrics, as choral lyrics are often difficult to grasp, and the old-style grammar adds to the confusion. Sort of like trying to pull renaissance English lyrics out of a piece. If anyone does get his mitts on the lyrics, po-russki, posting them here would be awesome.
Vsego dobrogo vsem,
J.

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #38
I am the conductor of the Buffalo Grove (IL) Symphonic Band. This Summer we plan to perform the 1812 Overture as arranged for Concert Band. Our community chorus will be joining us for Battle Hymn of the Republic and God Bless America. I would love to add the choral parts for the overture as well.

Does anyone know where they can be gotten? Are the existing recordings a case where the original hymn was simply sung over the setting used by Tchaikovsky or was it arranged? Also I understand the Kunzel recording uses vocal parts in the "battle" sequences of the work as well. Does anyone know if these have been published?

Thanks.

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #39
I don't know the answer to the just-above question, but: When I heard a recording with chorus (circa 1971), there was the opening hymn, and later there was a male chorus during the "battle" part. I insist that the purpose of the cannons was to drown out the Russian lyrics. If Italian, no cannons!

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #40
Some of the lyrics in Karajan's 1966 recording (sung by the Don Kosaken choir):
Ñïàñè, Ãîñïîäè, ëþäè Òâîÿ è áëàãîñëîâè äîñòîÿíèå Òâîå, ïîáåäû õðèñòîëþáèâîìó âîèíñòâó ...
íà ñîïðîòèâíûÿ äàðóÿ, è Òâîå ñîõðàíÿÿ Êðåñòîì Òâîèì æèòåëüñòâî ...
I donno what is sung during the first ellipsis. During the second ellipsis, they start by repeating some of the words, then seem to wonder off.
The above text is taken from two versions of today's hymn. There are many more. Perhaps looking into them all, one can find all the lyrics without understanding a word...
If anyone is up to the challenge, I recommend google.ru. Isn't there a better way?

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #41
IMHO, it sounds more like:

Mighty Lord, preserve us from jeopardy.
Take Thee now our faith and loud crying in penitence.
Grant victory o'er our treacherous and cruel enemies
And to our land bring peace.
O mighty Lord hear our lowly prayer,
And by Thy shining holy light.
Grant us, O Lord, peace again.
O mighty Lord hear our prayer
and save our people
Forever, forever!

And this, I submit makes VERY much better sense
in their situation, and in ours.

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #42
Just thought I should add, for the benefit of any Australian participants in this discussion that there will be a performance of the 1812 Overture with large choir singing in Russian (or the closest we can get to it) on May 10th and 12th at the Sydney Olympic Park Superdome. Judging by the rehearsals so far, it should be very powerful.  A few weeks ago I would have thought - the 1812, you must be kidding.  Now I think anyone who has the chance to be there and hear it sung by 500 voices, should grab it with both hands.  It's glorious.

And of course, thanks to this list, I now understand what I'm singing.

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #43
Slavyanka has cd out with God preserve thy people. New Calvary has CD with God save the Tsar. Both CD's are a couple years old. Google and other serch engines have recorded sound bites available.

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #44
Oh how I have searched the world for an 8 track tape i had in the 70's with the 1812 on it with a full choral all the way through.  It was magnificently done.  It was in Cerilic, so I do not know the words, but I can sing it phonetically to the music.  If anyone knows of this one, please post it.

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #45
I just did some listening, and though some of the lines are a bit hazy (I'm using a rather beat up casette...the mp3 is the same, so...), I get this (although a couple of words are definitely up for interpretation)

Mighty Lord, preserve us from jeopardy.
Take thee now our faith
and our grinding penitence.
Grant thee vict'ry
o'er our treacherous and creul enemies
and to our land bring peace.
Almighty Lord hear our lowly prayer,
and by thy shining Holy Light
when thou [sow], Lord, peace again.
Oh mighty Lord, hear our prayer
and save our kingdom
forever, forever!

"sow" is the one very confusing word...it could be any number of otehr words, but sow makes the most sense with the rest, not tht it makes much at all

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #46
Does anyone have any idea what this 2 and a half year old, now 46 message string has to do with NWC?

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #47
No clue, but glad to find the discussion here! Thanks Noteworthysoftware!!!

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #48
David (reply 46): It shows that many NWC users are sophisticated enough to have heard of the 1812 Overture. You may recall that in recent memory, there have been other message threads that have not reached that level.

Re: 1812 Overture

Reply #49
...this 2 and a half year old...string
Umm, it's over 3 and a quarter...