19 March 2009

Musical Interlude: Марш Преображенского полка

I apologize for the paucity of posts in the past month or so. Things are not all sunshine and roses out here in Sigmaville, and thus I've been a bit distracted. Of course I know that my personal life is of interest to absolutely nobody, and so I'll leave it at that. Let us turn now to more interesting matters:

The above video features four songs, the latter three being renditions of the marching song of the Preobrazhensky Lifeguard regiment (it also features a nice pictorial overview of Russian military history, besides!). The Preobrazhensky Regiment was established by Peter the Great around 1687, and was among the most renowned units in the Imperial Russian Army. The regiment itself was disbanded in 1917, following the events of the Russian Revolution, but the unit's march has remained a staple of the Russian army.

The first song heard in the video is a choral arrangement of a passage from Tchaikovsky's famous 1812 Overture. It's not unpleasant, but it's not the reason we're here today. The first version of the Preobrazhensky March we hear is a slower, more regal treatment of the song. The second is an a Capella rendition of the march (perhaps my favorite rendition of the three on display in the video). Finally, the third rendition of the march is an uptempo version of the march, quite suitable for a parade (as an aside, I'm fairly certain this particular version appeared on the soundtrack for the game East Front II).

As a final curiosity, here are the lyrics to the song (in Russian, naturally):

Знают турки нас и шведы
И про нас известен свет
На сраженья, на победы
Нас всегда сам Царь ведет

C нами труд Он разделяет
Перед нами Он в боях
Счастьем всяк из нас считает
Умереть в Его глазах

Славны были наши деды
Помнит их и швед, и лях
И парил орел победы
На Полтавских на полях

Знамя он полка пленяет
Русский штык наш боевой
Он и нам напоминает,
Как ходили деды в бой.

Гордо штык четырехгранный
Голос чести не замолк
Так пойдем вперед мы славно
Грудью первый русский полк

Государям по присяге
Верным полк наш был всегда
В поле брани не робея
Грудью служит он всегда

Преображенцы удалые
Рады тешить мы царя
И потешные былые
Славны будут век,

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