Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Wary Of A Pending Thunderstorm, Mr Cogito Tries To Think About Dmitri Shostakovich And His Musical Creativity In The Year 1960

STRING QUARTET NO. 7 in F sharp minor, Op. 108 Moscow, March 1960
Dedicated to the memory of Nina Vasilievna Shostakovich
1. Allegretto
2. Lento
3. Allegro
Duration: 12’
First performance: 15 May 1960, Leningrad, Glinka Concert Hall
Beethoven Quartet (Dmitri Tsyganov, Vasili Shirinsky, Vadim Borisovsky, Sergei Shirinsky)
►Muzyka Collected Works: Vol. 35
►DSCH New Collected Works: Vol. 102

SATIRES (PICTURES OF THE PAST), Op. 109 [Satiri (Kartinki Proshlovo)] 19 June 1960
Five romances for soprano and piano
Texts by Sasha Chorny (pen-name of Alexander Glikberg)
Dedicated to Galina Pavlovna Vishnevskaya
1. To a Critic (Moderato)
2. Spring Awakening (Moderato – Allegro)
3. Descendants (Moderato – Allegro molto)
4. Misunderstanding (Moderato)
5. Kreutzer Sonata (Adagio – Allegretto)
Duration: 14’
First performance: 22 February 1961, Moscow, Small Hall of the Conservatoire
Galina Vishnevskaya (soprano) – Mstislav Rostropovich (piano)
►Muzyka Collected Works: Vol. 33
►DSCH New Collected Works: Vol. 91
‘Kreutzer Sonata’ (No. 5) shows references to Beethovens Sonata Op. 47, the final Allegretto segment is based on the lullaby theme from ‘The Story of a Silly Baby Mouse’, Op. 56. English translation by Myron Morris, German version by Jörg Morgener.

STRING QUARTET NO. 8 in C minor, Op. 110 Dresden, 12 - 14 July 1960
Dedicated to the memory of the victims of fascism and war
1. Largo
2. Allegro molto
3. Allegretto
4. Largo
5. Largo
Duration: 19’
First performance: 2 October 1960, Leningrad, Glinka Concert Hall
Beethoven Quartet (Dmitri Tsyganov, Vasili Shirinsky, Vadim Borisovsky, Sergei Shirinsky)
►Muzyka Collected Works: Vol. 35
►DSCH New Collected Works: Vol. 102
Also known as ‘Dresden Quartet’. Apart from Shostakovich’s initials DSCH which serve as musical motto, several themes from other works by the composer are quoted in the present work: Symphonies No. 1, Op. 10, No. 5, Op. 47 and No. 8, Op. 65, Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra No. 1, Op. 107, Piano Trio No. 2, Op. 67, ‘The Young Guard’, Op. 75a (No. 6), and Katerina’s ‘Seryoscha, My Love’ from Act IV of ‘Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District’, Op. 29. Moreover the second theme from Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, Op. 74 (first movement) and the Funeral March from Wagner’s ‘Götterdämmerung’ are cited.

NOVOROSSIISK CHIMES [Novorossiyskiye Kuranty] Moscow, 1960
for orchestra
In Commemoration of the Heroes of the Great Patriotic War
Commissioned by the City of Novorossiisk
3(picc).3(cor anglais).3.2 – – timp. perc (tgl, side dr, cym). cel. strings
Duration: 3’
►Muzyka Collected Works: Vol. 11 (score)
►DSCH New Collected Works: Vol. 36 (score), Vol. 37 (piano score)
This work, subtitled ‘The Flame of Eternal Glory’, is based on the first bars of an unsuccessful entry for the National Anthem Contest from 1943. The pre-recorded music was to be heard for the first time on 27 September 1960 (Moscow, All-Union Radio Orchestra conducted by Arvid Jansons) and is played every hour from the clock above the War Memorial at Heroes’ Square, Novorossiisk.

FIVE DAYS – FIVE NIGHTS, Op. 111 [Pyat dnei – Pyat nochei] Moscow/Dresden, 1960
Music to the film
Produced by Mosfilm in collaboration with DEFA (GDR) – Lev Arnshtam, W. Ebeling
(scenario) – Lev Arnshtam (direction). First showing: 23 November 1961
1. Introduction
2. [without title]
3. Meeting with the Liberators on the Road
4. ‘It was Nearly Half an Hour Ago’
6. [without title]
7. [without title] 8. Paul’s Soliloquy (Adagio)
9. Madonna
11. Flight in the Loft
12. Meeting of Katerine and Paul (Allegro)
13. Night Scene (Andante)
14. Katrin’s Dream (Moderato)
15. Solitude
16. Frau Rank’s Parting with the Pictures – Alarm
18. Finale
3(picc).3.3.3(db bn) – – timp. perc (tgl, side dr, bass dr, cym, tam-t, glsp). harp. piano. org. strings
►DSCH New Collected Works: Vol. 141 (complete score)
Subtitled ‘Dresden Art Gallery’. The autograph score is preserved at the State Central
Glinka Museum of Musical Culture. The score contains Nos. 1-4, 6-9, 11-16 and 18 – nothing is known about the missing items. The above listing is adopted from D. C. Hulme. Vol. 42 of Muzyka Collected Works (its editor‘s note states that the first showing took place on 27 February 1961) prints No. 6 in a version for organ and strings.

compiled by Levon Atovmian (1961)
1. Introduction (Adagio)
2. Dresden in Ruins (Largo)
3. Liberated Dresden (Moderato – Presto – Largo – Allegro)
4. Interlude (Andante – Moderato – Allegro)
5. Finale (Moderato – Allegretto – Largo)
3(picc).3.3.3(db bn) – – timp. perc (tgl, side dr, bass dr, cym, tam-t, glsp). harp. piano. strings
Duration: 32’
First performance: 7 January 1962, Moscow Radio
USSR Cinematograph Symphony Orchestra – Enim Khachaturian (conductor)
No. 3 (‘Liberated Dresden’) is concluded by a quotation of the ‘Ode an die Freude (Ode to Joy)’ theme from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125


From String Quartet No 7 in F sharp minor Op 108
Second Movement: Lento
Third bar after Fig. 22 (viola part only)

[Click on image for enlargement.]

Shostakovich dedicated this work to the memory of his first wife, Nina, who had died of cancer.

Image credit: (c) Shostakovich Kontakion Score Example. With thanks.


Library of Congress Season Finale, Washington, D.C.

Friday, May 18 at 8:00pm [Free]
with Wu Han, piano

STRAVINSKY: Concertino for string quartet

BARTÓK: String Quartet no. 5 (Coolidge commission)

SHOSTAKOVICH: Piano Quintet in G minor, op. 57


SHOSTAKOVICH PIANO QUINTET in G minor, Op. 57 Moscow, Summer - 14 September 1940

1. Prelude (Lento – Poco più mosso – Lento)
2. Fugue (Adagio)
3. Scherzo (Allegretto)
4. Intermezzo (Lento)
5. Finale (Allegretto)
Duration: 29’

First performance: 23 November 1940, Moscow, Small Hall of the Conservatoire
Beethoven Quartet (Dmitri Tsyganov, Vasili Shirinsky, Vadim Borisovsky, Sergei Shirinsky) – Dmitri Shostakovich (piano)
►Muzyka Collected Works: Vol. 37
►DSCH New Collected Works: Vol. 99

Although there was no actual commission it is evident that Shostakovich conceived Op. 57 for the Beethoven Quartet and himself. The Piano Quintet was awarded the Stalin Prize, First Class, on 16 March 1941.


[Alfred Schnittke's Symphony No. 9 (1996-98) [Opus 253], as decoded and completed by Russian composer Alexander Raskatov, will receive its premiere in Dresden, Germany, European Union, on June 16, 2007.]


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