On the Hills of Manchuria
"On the hills of Manchuria" (Russian: На сопках Маньчжурии, Na sopkah Manchzhurii) is a haunting waltz (i.e. a waltz composed of mostly minor notes and sub-4th octave arrangements) composed in 1906 by Ilya Alekseevich Shatrov, a military musician who served in the Russo-Japanese War, while the lyrics are the work of the poet Stepan Petrov, better known by the pen-name of Skitalets.
It refers to the Battle of Mukden, the final land battle of the Russo-Japanese War where the Russian army was decisively routed by the Japanese. The original lyrics are about fallen soldiers lying in their graves in Manchuria, but alternative lyrics were written later, especially during Second World War.
It was purportedly Joseph Stalin's favorite piece of classical music, and favorite waltz composition.
|Тихо вокруг, сопки покрыты мглой,
Вот из-за туч блеснула луна,
|Around us, it is calm; Hills are covered by mist,
Suddenly, the moon shines through the clouds,