According to a 2015 article by the magazine Russian Reporter, the words of Katuscha were the 13th most popular lyrics in Russia. The story of a young girl whose lover is far away from home defending their country is a common theme and resonates with many. The spelling of the title of this piece varies, depending on the translator. Besides the official spelling from the copyright holder, the piece has been spelled Katyusha, Katusha, Katiusha, and Katjusha. The composer’s name and the lyricist’s name also have multiple spellings–many sources list the composer’s first name as Matvei or Matvey.
The song is the probable source of the nickname of the BM-8, BM-13, and BM-31 “Katyusha” rocket launchers that were used by the Red Army in World War II.
Poet Mikhail Isakovskij wrote the first two stanzas of Katuscha in 1938. After meeting with the composer Matvej Blanter, Isakovskij wrote a few more stanzas. Blanter quickly composed the music for Katuscha and the song was immediately included in the concert program of the State Jazz Orchestra of the USSR, performed by the famous Russian jazz singer Valentina Batishcheva.
A version in Hebrew was performed by 1945 and remains popular in Israel.
Unfortunately, because of our agreement with G. Schirmer, this arrangement is not supposed to be available for sale outside the US and Canada. For our customers who reside elsewhere and desire a similar piece, we suggest Korobeiniki.
Key: D minor
Mood: sentimental, dark, optimistic
Pedagogy: staccato, chord inversions, dynamics