The orchestral version by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, was first performed in Moscow in November 1876. It is a rousing patriotic work based on Serbian and Russian folk themes.
Tchaikovsky was commissioned to write the piece specifically for a concert to benefit Serb soldiers wounded while fighting (with help from Russian volunteers) against the Ottoman Empire. Hence the title declared it a march for all Slavs rather than simply for Russians. The piece, though relatively brief, includes a number of distinct moods; bright, festive passages contrast with ominous ones. Vincent Tornello keeps each of these moods in the music while making the arrangement accessible for younger musicians.