|Composer:||Dmitri Stepanovich Bortnianski (1825)|
|Incipit:||53451 21715 61653|
Dmitri Stephanovich Bortnianski (b. Gloukoff, Ukraine, 1751; d. St. Petersburg, Russia, 1825) was a Russian composer of church music, operas, and instrumental music. His tune ST. PETERSBURG (also known as RUSSIAN HYMN) was first published in J. H. Tscherlitzky's Choralbuch (1825).
The tune is supposedly from a Mass composed in 1822, though that work is not extant. Tchaikovsky included ST. PETERSBURG as the setting for a Russian hymn in his 1884 edition of Bortnianski's compositions for church use. The tune is named after the city where Bortnianski studied, worked, and died. Shaped in to a strict bar form (AAB), this tune has a third line that brings a fine climax and resolution to the entire melody.
Bortnianski began his musical study as a chorister in the imperial chapel choir at the age of eight. With financial aid from Catherine the Great, he went to Venice in 1768 to study music; he also studied in Rome and Naples. After returning to Russia, he assumed the directorship of the imperial chapel choir in St. Petersburg. His choral music was published by Tchaikovsky (c. 1884) and continues to be used both in the Russian Orthodox Church and in western churches.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1987