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Anthems of Union republics

I am searching for quality choir-and-orchestra recordings of the anthems of Tajikistan, Kazakhstan (1992—2006), Uzbekistan, Belarus, and also for any recordings of the national anthem of the Karelo-Finnish SSR.
 
You can listen to each republic’s anthem
by clicking on the republics on the map of the USSR
 Clickable map of USSR
detailed administrative map of the USSR
Lithuanian SSR Latvian SSR Estonian SSR Moldavian SSR Belorussian SSR Ukrainian SSR Armenian SSR Georgian SSR Azerbaijan SSR Kirghiz SSR Tajik SSR Uzbek SSR Turkmen SSR Kazakh SSR RSFSR

CD “National Anthems of the USSR and Union Republics”, ©1996 Melodiya.  Anthems recorded in 1970s—1980s.
These are the last official versions used in the period from ca.1977 till the breakup of the Soviet Union.
All tracks available here as MP3 256kbps.

Webmasters: please link to this page and not directly to the audio files (they change addresses from time to time).
1    National Anthem of the USSR
(music by Alexander Alexandrov, words by Sergey Mikhalkov and Gabriel El-Registan)
Choir and orchestra of Bolshoi Theatre
Conductor Yuri Simonov
 
3:29
 
  Lyrics
 
  *
See also:  other records in the main collection
2    National Anthem of the Ukrainian SSR
(music by the group of authors under the direction of Anton Lebedinets, words by Pavlo Tychina and Mykola Bazhan)
Choir and orchestra of Shevchenko State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre
Conductor S. Turchak
 
3:37
 
  Lyrics
 
  
3    National Anthem of the Belorussian SSR
(music by Nester Sakalouski, words by Mikhas Klimkovich)
Choir and orchestra of Belorussian TV and Radio
Conductor B. Raisky
 
3:41
 
  Lyrics
 
  *
Compare:  National Anthem of the Republic of Belarus
(words by Mikhas Klimkovich and Uladzimir Karyzna;
introduced by President Lukashenko’s decree in 2002)
  • MP3 (6.6MB, 3:32, 256kbps) by the academic choir and symphony orchestra of the Belorussian State TV and Radio Company (from President’s site) | MP3 (8.4MB, 3:35, 320kbps) (from CD “State Anthem of the Republic of Belarus — Standard official recording”, 2004)
  •  
      Lyrics
    4    National Anthem of the Uzbek SSR
    (music by Mutal Burkhanov, words by M. Fattakh and T. Tula)
    Choir of Uzbek TV and Radio, State Symphony Orchestra of Uzbekistan
    Conductor Z. Khaknazarov
     
    4:25
     
      Lyrics
     
      *
    Compare:  National Anthem of Uzbekistan
    O’zbekiston Respublikasi Davlat Madhiyasi
    (words by Abdulla Aripov; introduced in 1992)
  • MP3 (2.3MB, 2:29, 128kbps)
  •  
      Lyrics
    5    National Anthem of the Kazakh SSR
    (music by Mukan Tulebayev, Eugeny Brusilovsky and Latif Khamidi, words by A. Tazhibaev, Kh. Mukhamedzhanov and G. Musrepov)
    State Choir Chapel of Kazakh SSR, Kazakh Symphony Orchestra
    Conductor T. Abrashev
     
    3:27
     
      Lyrics
     
      1
    Compare:  National Anthem of Kazakhstan (1992—2006)
    (words by Muzafar Alimbayev, Kadyr Myrzaliyev, Tumanbai Moldagaliyev and Zhadyra Daribayeva;
    was replaced with a new anthem in 2006)
  • MP3 (3.0MB, 3:13, 128kbps)
  •  
      Lyrics
    6    National Anthem of the Georgian SSR
    (music by Otar Taktakishvili, words by G. Abashidze)
    State Choir Chapel and State Symphony Orchestra of Georgia
    Conductor A. Mamazashvili
     
    3:26
     
      Lyrics
     
      
    7    National Anthem of the Azerbaijan SSR
    (music by Uzeyir Hajibeyov, words by Samad Vurghun and Suleyman Rustam)
    State Choir Chapel and State Symphony Orchestra of Azerbaijan
    Conductor R. Abdullaev
     
    3:30
     
      Lyrics
     
      2
    8    National Anthem of the Lithuanian SSR
    (music by Balys Dvarionas and Jonas Svedas, words by Antanas Venclova, new version of lyrics by Vacys Reimeris)
    Kaunas State Choir, Symphony Orchestra of State Philharmony of Lithuanian SSR
    Conductor Yu. Domarkas
     
    2:38
     
      Lyrics
     
      
    9    National Anthem of the Moldavian SSR
    (music by Stephan Nyaga and E. Lazarev, words by Emilian Bukov and Bogdan Istru)
    Academic Choir Chapel “Doina”, Choir of Moldavian SSR TV and Radio, Symphony Orchestra of Moldavian State Philharmony
    Conductor D. Goia
     
    2:00
     
      Lyrics
     
      
    10    National Anthem of the Latvian SSR
    (music by Anatoly Lepin, words by Fricis Rokpelnis and Julijs Vanags)
    Kalnyn Choir, State Symphony Orchestra of Latvian SSR
    Conductor V. Sinaisky
     
    3:42
     
      Lyrics
     
      
    11    National Anthem of the Kirghiz SSR
    (music by Vladimir Vlasov, Abdylas Maldybaev and Vladimir Fere, words by K. Malikov, S. Sadykbekov, M. Toktobaev and Aaly Tokombaev)
    Choir and orchestra of Kirghiz TV and Radio
    Conductor A. Jumakhmatov
     
    3:41
     
      Lyrics
     
      
    12    National Anthem of the Tajik SSR
    (music by Suleiman Yudakov, words by Abulkasim Lakhuti)
    Choir of Aini Opera and Ballet Theatre, State Symphony Orchestra of USSR Ministry of Culture
    Conductor I. Abdullaev
     
    2:56
     
      Lyrics
     
      *
    13    National Anthem of the Armenian SSR
    (music by Aram Khachaturian, words by Sarmen)
    State Academic Chapel of Armenia, Symphony Orchestra of TV and Radio of Armenia
    Conductor O. Chekijian
     
    3:39
     
      Lyrics
     
      
    14    National Anthem of the Turkmen SSR
    (music by Veli Mukhatov, words by Aman Kekilov)
    Choir of Turkmen TV and Radio, Orchestra of All-Union Radio
    Conductor F. Mansurov
     
    3:28
     
      Lyrics
     
      3
    15    National Anthem of the Estonian SSR
    (music by Gustav Ernesaks, words by Johannes Semper)
    Mixed choir of Estonian TV and Radio, State Symphony Orchestra of Estonian SSR
    Conductor K. Raudsepp
     
    2:37
     
      Lyrics
     
      

    The same music (with new lyrics) is currently used as the national anthem of the country that the republic has become (last verified in January 2006).
    1  The music of the anthem of Kazakh SSR was used, with a new lyrics, as the anthem of Kazakhstan until January 2006.
    2  The current anthem of Azerbaijan and the anthem of Azerbaijan SSR are by the same composer Uzeyir Hajibeyov. The current anthem was originally composed for the independent Azerbaijan Democratic Republic that existed in 1918—20.
    3  The anthem of Turkmen SSR was used in the independent Turkmenistan until 1997, with unchanged lyrics.

    (Note: the details in the listing above are not identical to the cover of the English CD version. I have used more common and accurate spelling of author’s names than the hastily translated cover provides.)

    The anthems appear on the CD in the same order in which the Union republics are listed in the Constitution of the USSR (see Chapter 8, Article 71). In the Constitution, they were initially listed in the order of decreasing population (according to the 1940 statistics, at least). Later, the population in different republics grew unevenly and the listing in the Constitution became no longer properly sorted by population, but it was kept unaltered in the 1977 Constitution.

    The largest republic both in territory and population, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR; now Russia), did not have its own anthem. There was a considerable effort in 1945—1948 to write one, with numerous committees considering many proposals of music and lyrics, but none was accepted. On the map, I’ve linked RSFSR to the State Anthem of the USSR.

    You can buy this CD on amazon.com | ozon.ru
    This CD has also been ripped and published online by Artemy Lebedev (RealAudio 16kbps—40kbps) | Marxists.org (MP3 128kbps) | Soviet music | allofmp3.com (paid download, selectable format and bitrate)
     

    Instrumental recordings

    Listen to the short versions
    (click on the republics on the map):
     
    Listen to the full-length versions
    (click on the republics on the map):
    Clickable map of USSR
     
    Clickable map of USSR
    Lithuanian SSR Latvian SSR Estonian SSR Moldavian SSR Belorussian SSR Ukrainian SSR Armenian SSR Georgian SSR Azerbaijan SSR Kirghiz SSR Tajik SSR Uzbek SSR Turkmen SSR Kazakh SSR RSFSR Lithuanian SSR Latvian SSR Estonian SSR Moldavian SSR Belorussian SSR Ukrainian SSR Armenian SSR Georgian SSR Azerbaijan SSR Kirghiz SSR Tajik SSR Uzbek SSR Turkmen SSR Kazakh SSR RSFSR

    This set of instrumental recordings was made by the Brass Band of the USSR Ministry of Defence in 1968.
    They are available here as MP3 256kbps.

    1    National Anthem of the USSR
    (music by Alexander Alexandrov)
    Conductor N. Nazarov
      Short 1:14     Full 3:09
    2    National Anthem of the Ukrainian SSR
    (music by group of authors under the direction of Anton Lebedinets)
    Conductor N. Nazarov
      Short 1:04     Full 2:54
    3    National Anthem of the Belorussian SSR
    (music by Nester Sakalouski)
    Conductor N. Nazarov
      Short 1:11     Full 3:11
    4    National Anthem of the Uzbek SSR
    (music by Mutal Burkhanov)
    Conductor N. Sergeyev
      Short 2:04     Full 3:00
    5    National Anthem of the Kazakh SSR
    (music by Mukan Tulebayev, Eugeny Brusilovsky and Latif Khamidi)
    Conductor N. Nazarov
      Short 1:18     Full 3:26
    6    National Anthem of the Georgian SSR
    (music by Otar Taktakishvili)
    Conductor N. Sergeyev
      Short 1:22     Full 3:39
    7    National Anthem of the Azerbaijan SSR
    (music by Uzeyir Hajibeyov)
    Conductor Niyazi
      Short 1:14     Full 3:22
    8    National Anthem of the Lithuanian SSR
    (music by Balys Dvarionas and Jonas Svedas)
    Conductor N. Nazarov
      Short 0:54     Full 2:21
    9    National Anthem of the Moldavian SSR
    (music by Stephan Nyaga and E. Lazarev)
    Conductor N. Nazarov
      Short 1:37     Full 4:30
    10    National Anthem of the Latvian SSR
    (music by Anatoly Lepin)
    Conductor N. Nazarov
      Short 1:28     Full 3:09
    11    National Anthem of the Kirghiz SSR
    (music by Vladimir Vlasov, Abdylas Maldybaev and Vladimir Fere)
    Conductor N. Sergeyev
      Short 1:03     Full 2:45
    12    National Anthem of the Tajik SSR
    (music by Suleiman Yudakov)
    Conductor N. Sergeyev
      Short 0:42     Full 1:46
    13    National Anthem of the Armenian SSR
    (music by Aram Khachaturian)
    Conductor Aram Khachaturian
      Short 1:25     Full 3:53
    14    National Anthem of the Turkmen SSR
    (music by Veli Mukhatov)
    Conductor N. Sergeyev
      Short 0:52     Full 2:17
    15    National Anthem of the Estonian SSR
    (music by Gustav Ernesaks)
    Conductor N. Nazarov
      Short 0:48     Full 2:03

    LP label  
    The full-length instrumental recordings listed above have been taken from the Soviet LP “National Anthems” released in 1968 (mother record numbers 1655a and 1656a).
    Regarding the short versions, I am not quite sure about their origin. We had them on a tape cassette obtained at the Moscow Radio before 1981. It is obvious from the sound they were performed by the same orchestra at the same time as the long versions, and recorded on an LP. However, we’ve failed to locate the LP.
    All these instrumental recordings have been digitized and cleaned up by Reinhard Popp (rpps43@t-online.de). Any use of them without his permission is not allowed.
     

    Additional recordings

    Anthem of republic / country Listen
    Belarus
  • Instrumental: MP3 (2.7MB, 1:09, 320kbps) by the symphony orchestra of the Belorussian State TV and Radio Company (from CD “State Anthem of the Republic of Belarus — Standard official recording”, 2004)
  • Instrumental: MP3 (1.8MB, 1:55, 128kbps) by the United States Navy Band (from the library of national anthems for official use by U.S. government, 2000)
  • Belorussian SSR
  • Ogg (1.0MiB, 2:45, 49kbps) — pre-1955 version, includes Stalin’s name in lyrics; by the choir and orchestra of the State Academy Theatre of Minsk (?) (recorded in 1952) | MP3 (2.5MiB, 2:42, 128kbps)
  • Uzbekistan
  • Instrumental: MP3 (2.3MB, 2:26, 128kbps) by the United States Navy Band (from the library of national anthems for official use by U.S. government, 2000)
  • Video: MPEG-1 (25.3MB, 2:28, 1.4Mbps) (recorded from broadcast on the 1st channel of Uzbek TV in August 2005)
  • Kazakhstan (1992—2006)
  • Instrumental: MP3 (3.6MB, 3:48, 128kbps) by the United States Navy Band (from the library of national anthems for official use by U.S. government, recorded before 2006)
  • Latvian SSR
  • Instrumental: MP3 (2.4MB, 1:41, 192kbps)
  • Turkmenistan
  • Instrumental: MP3 (1.3MB, 1:22, 128kbps) by the United States Navy Band (from the library of national anthems for official use by U.S. government, 2000)
  • Estonian SSR
  • MP3 (3.9MB, 2:47, 192kbps) by Meie Mees group (2001; the background clapping is based on the song “We Will Rock You” by the UK band Queen)

  • You can find lyrics (with translations), sheet music and information about these and other anthems on National Anthem Reference Page | NationalAnthems.us | Wikipedia

    Some links about the USSR:


    FAQ to the museum maintainer | Vadim Makarov | Credits

    Visitor’s comments

    Anthems from a vanished country

    Review of the CD “National Anthems of the USSR and Union Republics”
    In the former Soviet Union, each of the 14 “Union republics” (with the exception of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic) had its own “national anthem”. This collection — by Soviet-era orchestras and choirs — is the only one of its kind. All of the former SSRs (Soviet Socialist Republics) are represented, along with the famous USSR anthem which was banished for a time under Boris Yeltsin but now (with new lyrics) lives again as the anthem of the Russian Federation.

    The music represents the ethnic and culture diversity of the Soviet Empire: the heroic melodies and broad harmonies of the USSR and Ukrainian anthems reflect the expansive gestures of Orthodox church music; the Georgian anthem draws from the dissonant harmonies of Georgian sacred and folk music; the Armenian anthem, by the famous Soviet-Armenian composer Khachaturian, has the Middle Eastern feeling of the Armenian folk idiom.

    The lyrics — which unfortunately are not translated — are typically bombastic. Verses expressing fealty to the “Party of Lenin” and praising the inspiring example of the “Great October” are normative. The word “glorious” appears to be inescapable. If you want a feeling for this style, check out the translations of the old USSR anthem available on the web.

    Apart from their origins in different folk idioms, the musical styles tend to range from militant (Armenia and Azerbaijan) to sentimentally lyrical (Latvia and Lithuania). The Latvian anthem, in fact, is unique in this collection because it is the only one in which (without knowing the words) it is difficult to imagine that you are striding confidentially into the future in unity with the Party of Lenin following the heroic example of the Great October. Instead, the melody seems to evoke the quiet villages, rolling hills and gentle beaches of this small Baltic country. In contrast, the anthems of the Soviet Central Asian Republics are close in musical spirit to the score of any of Cecil B. DeMille’s blockbuster Hollywood costume dramas. One can visualize hordes of heroic Kyrgyz, Uzbek or Turkmen horsemen sweeping across the dusty plains of Asia... all in the name of socialism, of course.

    Each of these anthems suffered a different fate after the USSR disappeared from history. The countries with the strongest national traditions (the Baltic states and Ukraine, for instance) restored older pre-Soviet anthems. Other republics retained the Soviet-era melody but wrote new lyrics. That was true especially of republics where the old Soviet nomenklatura still hold power: Belarus and Kazakhstan, for instance. Sadly, Armenia got rid of Khatchaturian’s stirring composition: the music was, perhaps, too militant — and too confident of a glorious future — for a postmodern world.

    — Andrew G. Lang (langohio@sbcglobal.net), May 13, 2004; comment copied from amazon.com

    Certain anthems of the former Soviet Union each have their own feel to me. The Russian and Ukrainian anthems, for example, might give me the impression of something like an Orthodox Church service. The Belarus and Armenian anthems bring to mind military marches. The Georgian SSR anthem also sounds similar to a church service. The Uzbek SSR sounds slower than the other anthems, almost like a dirge. Finally, the Kazakh SSR anthem seems to remind me of a waltz of some kind.

    — Brian Runyon, March 17, 2007
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