Favorite music of the Romanov family
Favorite music of the Romanov family

The entire Romanov family loved to listen to music, especially what were known as the Russian “romance” songs”, but also opera arias. According to Tatiana Botkin-Melnik, daughter of the Romanov family physician, even during the war years singers from Imperial Theaters often came to the infirmaries and gave performances and concerts, which the Grand Duchesses and Tsarevich Alexei loved to attend. 

Have you ever wondered what kind of songs the last Russian imperial family listened to?   I have researched it and below is a list of some of their favorites, which you can also listen to.



Прощание славянки – The Slavic woman’s farewell



From the diary of Olga Romanov: “... At 8 o’clock M[aria], Papa and I went to Petersburg to a concert at the Mariinsky Theater. V.V. Andreyev’s 25th anniversary. The balalaika players were wonderful.  N.V. Plevitskaya sang.”




Не плач, дитя (ария Демона)  – Do not cry my child (the Demon’s aria)

Осенний сон – Autumn dream


From the diary of Olga Romanov:  “…  In the evening we 4 and Papa went to Narodny Dom for a concert. Plevitzkaya, Stefanesko, Raisova, gypsy romance songs, 4 singers and a quartet – 3 Preobrazhensky regiment members and a harp player E. L. Grishinskaya, wife of a commander from the grenadier regiment, very nice.”




Утро туманное  – Foggy morning


Я помню вальса звук прелестный – I remember the wonderful sound of waltz


Оцвели уж давно хризантемы  – The chrysanthemums faded long ago



Ухарь-купец – Ukhar merchant


From a letter of Maria Romanov to Nicholas II:  “…Yesterday after you left, we went home and then to our infirmary, all 4. The concert was very successful. Delazari was very sweet, and told several funny stories. Then one lady in a sarafan danced a Russian [dance] (she was rather finicky). My Demenkov was very charming, and introduced all the performers to us…”



Тройка – Troika


Вы просите песен – You ask for songs



Гори, гори, моя звезда   – Burn, burn bright my star



Вечерняя звезда – The evening star



From a letter of Maria Romanov to Nicholas II:  “This afternoon we went to our infirmary. There was a concert. Delazari sang with some three [people], then a young lady … danced and sang… The soldiers loved it so they applauded with all their might and our funny officer made them yell out ‘bis’… ”.


Я ехала домой  – I was riding home 


Спи, моя печальная – Go to sleep my sad one


Дай, милый друг, на счастье руку – Give me your hand for luck, my dear friend   


From the diary of Tatiana Romanov:  “…Olga and Isa and I went to Petrograd, to the Ciniselli Circus , where Dolina had a concert to benefit Olga’s Committee… they played the balalaika wonderfully, [they from the] railway regiment and singers.”



Прости, небесное созданье – Forgive me, heavenly creature

Помню, я еще молодушкой была – I remember when I was still a young woman



Нищая – Pauper woman


From a letter of Tatiana Romanov to Nicholas II:  “… Yesterday afternoon they had a small concert at Anya’s infirmary, we five went to see it. We and the soldiers liked it tremendously. Delazari was there and told us a lot of funny things. Later they played the guitar and sang. Very nice.”




Ты придешь, моя заря (ария Сусанина) – You will arrive, my dawn (Susanin’s aria)

Лебединая песнь  – Swan song



From the books:


Journal of a Russian Grand Duchess: Complete Annotated 1913 Diary of Olga Romanov, Eldest Daughter of the Last Tsar

MARIA and ANASTASIA: The Youngest Romanov Grand Duchesses In Their Own Words: Letters, Diaries, Postcards.

Tatiana Romanov, Daughter of the Last Tsar: Diaries and Letters, 1913–1918


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