Hymn in Honour of Saints Cyril and Methodius
(Гимн в честь святых Кирилла и Мефодия)
For unaccompanied mixed voices (1885).
In December 1884, the Slavonic Society approached Tchaikovsky with a commission for him to write something for the one thousandth anniversary of the death of Saint Methodius. On 16/28 February 1885, the composer received a similar request from Pyotr Jurgenson: "... to write in honour of Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius a hymn for four voices, and also suitable for one voice . In his letter of reply the composer wrote: "I received your note yesterday. What hymn? Why? Who needs it? Why the hell?, etc. I’ve already been pestered to write something for a gala concert by some Slavonic Society or other. I refused. And now you!... Anyway, on Thursday I’ll be in Moscow and will speak with you then" . During his visit to Moscow from 21 February/5 March to 25 February/9 March, Tchaikovsky acceded to Jurgenson’s request.
On 6/18 March, Pyotr Jurgenson sent the composer a Russian translation of the Czech text of the hymn, asking that he should shorten and revise the Russian text . Tchaikovsky immediately completed this task, and on 8/20 March he sent the hymn to Jurgenson. While composing the hymn he was, in his own words "'tormented for 6 hours by this doggerel...". Jurgenson quickly prepared it for publication, and the choral score and parts were issued in March 1885.
Музыкальное наследие Чайковского (1958), pp. 353–354
This page was last updated on 12 February 2013