Gott Erhalte Franz den Kaiser (Haydn)

Tchaikovsky Research

The former Austrian National Anthem Gott Erhalte Franz den Kaiser (Боже храни императора Франца), set to a tune by Joseph Haydn, was arranged for orchestra by Tchaikovsky in 1874 (TH 185 ; ČW 414) [1].


Scored for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets (in C), 2 bassoons + 4 horns (in F), 2 trumpets (in D), 3 trombones, tuba + 2 timpani, triangle, cymbals, bass drum + violins I, violins II, violas, cellos, and double basses.

Movements and Duration

There is one movement: Maestoso (B-flat major, 41 bars), comprising two verses of the anthem, and lasting between one and two minutes in performance.

To hear a virtual performance of Tchaikovsky's arrangement see "First Thoughts".


No information survives concerning Tchaikovsky's work on this arrangement, but it seems likely to have been made in connection with a visit to Russia by the Austrian Emperor in 1874.


The arrangement was published for the first time in 1970 in volume 59 of Tchaikovsky's Complete Collected Works, edited by Irina Iordan.


Tchaikovsky's manuscript of his arrangement is now preserved in the Russian National Museum of Music in Moscow (Ф. 88, No. 163 [view]).

Related Works

‘Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser' was the national anthem of Austria from 1797 to 1918. Music by Joseph Haydn (1732–1809), words by Lorenz Leopold Haschka (1749–1827). The same tune, set to the words "Deutschland über Alles" was later adopted as the national anthem of Germany.

A modified version of the tune was used in the second movement of Haydn's "Emperor" Quartet (Op. 76, No. 3), published in 1799.

Notes and References

  1. Entitled "Gott Erhalte" in ČW.