Marche Slav

From Wind Repertory Project
Peter I Tchaikovsky

Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky (arr. Louis-Philippe Laurendeau)

N.B. This work may also be found under the transliterated titles March Slave and Marche Slave.

General Info

Year: 1876 / 1906
Duration: c. 11:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Carl Fischer
Cost: Score and Parts - $110.00   |   Score Only - $10.00

For further information, see Discussion tab, above.


D-flat Piccolo
Flute I-II
Flute III/C Piccolo
Oboe I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Clarinet (Solo or 1st)
B-flat Soprano Clarinet II-III-IV
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Bass Saxophone
B-flat Cornet (Solo or 1st)
B-flat Cornet II-III
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Horn in E-flat I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Drums, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum


  • Tempo markings in this arrangement are marked significantly slower than a typical performance (for example, beginning "moderato" at quarter note = 80 and ending Allegro risoluto at quarter note = 128).

Program Notes

Marche Slav dates from 1876, a time when large numbers of Slavic troops were fighting on the side of Serbia against Turkey, and Russian was making plans to officially enter the war the following year. During this time of great pan-Slavonic enthusiasm, Nicolai Rubenstein, the director of the Moscow Conservatory (where Tchaikovsky taught harmony), organized a concert for the benefit of the wounded soldiers. He asked Tchaikovsky, who was in full sympathy with the feeling of the hour, to write this march for that occasion. A musical expression of the emotions then dominant in Russia, it was immensely successful.

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band

In 1876, Tchaikovsky was commissioned by the Russian Musical Society to compose a piece for a concert to benefit the Red Cross Society, in support of Serbian veterans wounded during the ongoing Serbo-Turkish war. Tchaikovsky composed the programmatic march in just five days. The piece begins with two Serbian folk songs, to describe the oppression of the Serbs by the Turkish. A simple dance melody in a major key follows, representing the Russian effort to rally support for the Serbs. The Russian national anthem ("God save the Tsar") is heard, followed by a frenetic section depicting the Russian army coming to assist the Serbs.

An eyewitness to the premier of the Marche wrote: "The rumpus and roar that broke out in the hall [is almost beyond] description. The whole audience rose to its feet ... It was one of the most stirring moments of 1876. Many in the hall were weeping." If this work sounds familiar, perhaps it's because Tchaikovsky used the Tsarist anthem again in his 1812 Overture. Marche Slave became one of Tchaikovsky's most popular works and he often used it as a dramatic finale to his concerts while on tour.

- Program Note by Patricia Matos Puente for the Stony Brook Wind Ensemble concert program, 2014


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State Ratings

  • Alabama: Class AA
  • Arkansas: V
  • Florida: V
  • Georgia: VI
  • Kansas: V
  • Louisiana: V
  • Minnesota: I
  • North Carolina: VI
  • South Carolina: VI
  • Tennessee: VI
  • Virginia: VI


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Hawaii Symphonic Band (Pearl City) (Ernest Taniguchi, conductor) - 18 November 2023
  • McKinley High School (Honolulu, HI) Symphonic Wind Ensemble I (Joseph Nakamoto, conductor) - 6 April 2023
  • Markham (Ont., Can.) Concert Band (Doug Manning, conductor) - 8 May 2022
  • Interlochen Center for the Arts (Michigan) Adult Band Camp (Tom Riccobono, conductor) - 11 August 2019
  • University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) North Star Campus Band (J. Nick Smith, conductor) -2 May 2019
  • Parkland College (Champaign, Ill.) Concert Band (Larry Stoner, conductor) - 4 March 2018
  • Virginia Grand Military Band (Alexandria) (Loras John Schissel, conductor) – 10 September 2016
  • Peninsula Symphonic Band (Palo Alto, Calif.) (Ted Henderson, conductor) – 22 May 2016
  • Orange County (Calif.) Wind Symphony (Anthony Mazzaferro, conductor) – 22 November 2015
  • Stony Brook (University, New York) Wind Ensemble (Bruce Engel, conductor) - 2014
  • Category 5 Wind Ensemble, Inc. (Mitchell Davis, conductor) - 21 September 2013

Works for Winds by This Composer

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