Blessed is He Who Smiles
Scored for male (TTBB) chorus, a cappella.
Movements and Duration
There is one movement: Allegro moderato (F major, 63 bars), lasting around 3 minutes in performance.
The words are by "K.R." (= Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich of Russia, 1858–1916), from his poem of the same name.
The chorus appears to have been commissioned by Karl Albrecht. According to the manuscript score it was written on 7/19 December 1887 at Maydanovo, at around the same time as the Six Romances, Op. 63, also to words by Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich. In a letter of 8/20 December to Karl Albrecht, sent with the manuscript, Tchaikovsky reported: "I am sending you the one chorus that I have written, and cannot do any more for the present" .
Pyotr Jurgenson published the choral score and parts in 1889 , and the chorus was included in volume 43 of Tchaikovsky's Complete Collected Works (1941), edited by Ivan Shishov and Nikolay Shemanin.
Tchaikovsky's manuscript score is now preserved in the Glinka National Museum Consortium of Musical Culture in Moscow (ф. 88, No. 126).
Blessed is He Who Smiles is dedicated to the Student Choir of Moscow University.