Official website of the Spasskaya Tower International Military Music Festival
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Official website of the Spasskaya Tower International Military Music Festival
3 June 2020

Long-forgotten Marches, Polkas and Waltzes

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The Great Patriotic War ignited a renewed interest in the Russian national culture. Reflcted in various spheres of arts, its also found its way into wind music.

Various long-forgotten marches, polkas and notably waltzes came to live again. Feeling those vibes, prominent Soviet military conductor and founder of modern Russian military bands Semyon Tchernetsky organized onstage of the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall a series of concerts dedicated to waltzes of those far away times. The Central Military Band of the People’s Commissariat of National Defense of the USSR (nowadays the Central Military Band of the Russian MoD) was tasked with the music accompaniment.

Musicians remembered, «having searched through piles of archive documents Tchernetsky reconstructed all previous performances and cadanze giving his concerts a special historic touch». No wonder, they always scored nothing but a full house.

Those waltzes were broadcast on radio all across the country. Musicians received a lot of letters even from the battlefields thanking them for the experience. One of the letters was addressed to Tchernetsky and said: “Today on radio we were listening to the wind band under your command. My fellow soldiers and officers asked me to write a letter and thank you for the performance. We’ve especially enjoyed your march, the old-times polka, as well as ‘Blue Distance’ and ‘Dreams’ waltzes. May you perform on radio more frequently”.