Scores to the symphonies of Dmitri Shostakovich, notes
This is the first comprehensive edition of the musical legacy left by the eminent Soviet composer Dmitry Shostakovich who bore the titles Hero of Socialist Labour and People's Artist of the USSR, was awarded several State Prizes of the USSR and, in 1958, the Lenin Prize. His works are performed in many countries and in all continents, winning for the composer the appellation "the Ambassador of Soviet Music".
The powerful artistic personality of the composer, one of the greatest thinkers of our time, developed and took shape at an epoch of tremendous historical upheavals, an epoch of revolutions, world wars and intense growth of the national liberation movement. His world-outlook, musical and aesthetic prirciples evolved under the influence of the Great October Socialist Revolution, the Great Patriotic War and the heroic constructive labour of the Soviet people.
Dmitry Shostakovich's creative heritage is the result of that realist artist's tireless searchings in an effort to speak of his time and of the heroes of that time. He concentrated on Man's role in society, his thoughts and emotions. In an article written shortly before his death the composer said: "An artist's searchings in this sphere know no bounds—he can show millions of people what is in the soul of an individual and, conversely, he can reveal to an individual what is in the soul of mankind as a whole. Art is capable of achieving both aims."1 He asserted optimism, saying that: "The optimistic finales of my works have evolved naturally from the whole artistic essence of the works. They are in accord with the objective logic of events and with my own view of the historical process which must of necessity bring about the defeat of evil and tyranny and the triumph of freedom and humanism."2 Shostakovich held that the accessibility of a work of true art had nothing in common with outward simplification. He said: "Musical language owes its clarity and expressiveness not only to 'beautiful' combinations of sounds but, first and foremost, to the profound ideological and emotional tasks which the creator of a given work sets himself."3
Shostakovich's vast musical output is remarkable for a wealth of images related to the "eternal" subjects such as life and death, struggle between good and evil, courage and fortitude in overcoming life's trials. For his literary sources he drew upon the works of classical—Russian and foreign—and modern writers and poets. Whatever the subject, the composer handled it with sincerity and ardour, revealing the innermost essence of his characters.
Many of Shostakovich's works are associated with the history of our country, both past and present, and with themes from contemporary life, treated in a lofty civic spirit. Among the latter his Twelfth Symphony and. Loyalty, eight ballads for unaccompanied men's chorus, hold a place apart as the composer's homage to the memory of Vladimir llyich Lenin.
The range of Shostakovich's artistic interests was exceedingly broad, but although he has created outstanding works in almost all musical genres, including opera and ballet, film music, chamber music, instrumental and vocal, choruses, solo instrumental pieces and songs, he has left his mark on the history of music as one of the greatest symphonists of our century. His fifteen symphonies are a kind of chronicle of the shaping of a Soviet artist's inner world, embodying the very essence of his philosophical meditations on his time and himself.
An acknowledged classic of Soviet music, Dmitry Shostakovich was also a pedagogue enjoying the highest prestige. He has trained a whole galaxy of composers all of whom have inherited their master's realistic principles and aesthetic views. While encouraging his pupils' daring ideas, creative plans and enthusiasm, he nevertheless objected vigorously to futile experimentation with the latest devices for the sake of novelty as such. "Innovation in art," Shostakovich used to say, "means, in the first place, a new spirit, new ideas. The form serves merely to give shape to the new content discovered by the artist, to embody that content in the material of the art."4 He explained the increased complexity of his musical idiom in the works written in the sixties and seventies by purely artistic considerations, asserting that "A composer has every right to utilise any and every musical means when this is called for by artistic considerations. But it is wholly erroneous to make one's music bow to the demands of some 'technique' or other, whether aleatory, twelve-note method, or something else again."5
In his activities as a public figure Shostakovich was true to his principles of a progressive artist and peace champion. He was a member of the Soviet Peace Committee (since 1949) and of the World Peace Committee (since 1968) and President of the USSR—Australia Society. "I do not know a true artist in the world of today who could dissociate himself from the struggle for life and for peace on earth, one whose heart did not contract with horror at the idea of a new war. No, I do not know such people, for genuine creative work, that is, serving Man and the people, is most intimately connected with serving peace and life and with the hatred of war and the destruction of nations,"8 he said, and by his work constantly proved his loyalty to these principles. For his efforts on behalf of peace Dmitry Shostakovich was awarded the International Peace Prize in 1954.
Dmitry Shostakovich's brilliant and multifarous work has become part of the history of the fruitfully developing Soviet culture, and the Decision of the USSR Council of Ministers No. 977, of December 2, 1975, providing for the issue of this edition of the composer's Collected Works was a timely and welcome act.
The present edition of Dmitry Shostakovich's Collected Works comprises
all of the composer's most important works in various genres, over 40
opuses being published for the first time. Intended for a wide musical
pubbic, this is not a complete collection of Shostakovich's works: it
does not include his piano arrangements of some of his orchestra and chamber
(quartet) compositions, his orchestrations of works by other composers
(Mussorgsky, Beethoven, Schumann et al.), 15 suites from his film music
and four ballet suites compiled by Levon Atovmyan, and a few less important
pieces. Nor does it feature the scores of his ballets The Golden Age,
The Bolt and The Limpid Stream because at the time the edition was in
preparation the full autographs of these works were believed to be missing.
The edition consists of 42 volumes whose sequence follows the genre-chronological principle accepted for such publications throughout the world: the works are divided into several large sections according to genre, within which they are distributed in the order of their publication.
As a general rule, the works are published here in accordance with the last editions which appeared in the composer's lifetime; the first publications are founded on autographs or copies endorsed by the composer. The texts are collated with Shostakovich's manuscripts,7 proof sheets, manuscript and printed copies containing his corrections, records carrying his performances and other available material. All patent errors discovered in manuscript or printed copies are corrected without comment while important disrepancies are discussed in the notes at the end of each volume. To facilitate reference, bars are numbered at the beginning of the bottom staves. Editorial emendations are printed in square brackets.
Dmitry Shostakovich's autographs, the chief source of this publication, are so illuminating as to deserve special discussion. His MSS, with the exception of the earliest, show a characteristic clear and easily recognizable handwriting. The notes are small, written with a very fine pen and, no matter how densely covered, a page of his manuscript is always legible, for all kinds of signs and markings have been carefully traced. Except for octave signs followed by dotted lines and repeat signs, the composer did not resort to abbreviations, and it is noteworthy that his autographs contain very few alterations (corrections, crossings-out, deletions, etc.), while his rough copies (few in number) that have come to us are for the most part mere outlines of thematic material and sketches, and not complete' works. This gives an idea of Shostakovich's creative process, of the clarity of his conceptions embracing the form as a whole down to the minutest details of texture and instrumentation. It was usually while preparing a work for publication or in the process of proof-reading that the composer made corrections, not drastic, just a few finishing touches. This probably explains the absence, with a few exceptions, of revised versions in Shostakovich's legacy.
In the process of preparing the volumes for publication certain differences
in notation between the autographs and the existing printed editions have
come to light. Thus, throughout his career Dmitry Shostakovich designated
the simple quadruple time as C, and alia breve as $; at every change of
metre he wrote J=J, no matter how often it may occur; he indicated the
shakes accurately adding an extra small note in parentheses; the tremolo
on percussion instruments he indicated as tr over each note; he often
departed from the usual arrangement of percussion instruments in his scores
and sometimes placed trumpet parts above those of French horns; he indicated
various devices of playing percussion instruments in Russian only (for
instance, "with timpani stick", "strike them against each
other", etc.); when, in the strings, divisi came to an end and the
music proceeded in chords, instead of non-divisi Shostakovich wrote Unis.
His scores show many other peculiarities.
In the present publication such discrepancies have been eliminated without comment and brought to accord with the prevalent practice.
In addition to Mores on text, each volume of Dmitry Shostakovich's Collected Works has an editorial preface giving information concerning the sources of the publication, the writing history of the works in the volume, their first performances and publications, and the whereabouts of the autographs.
Volume One of Dmitry Shostakovich's Collected
Works comprises the scores of his symphonies Nos. 1 and 2.
Symphony No. 1 in F minor, Op. 10, written in 1925, was Dmitry Shostakovich's graduation thesis at completing the course of the Leningrad Conservatoire.
Most of the work on the symphony was done at the end of 1924 and in the first half of 1925—that is the time mentioned by the composer in the list of his works compiled in 1927.1 The idea of the symphony and the beginning of work on it must, however, be of an earlier date, for the last page of the MS score is marked "1923" in Shostakovich's handwriting.
I had it like this::
In the latter half of 1924 Dmitry Shostakovich set to work in earnest, beginning with the symphony's second movement.3 He concentrated on the first movement in December 1924. By the mid-February 1925 three of its four movements were ready in piano score. The Finale (also in piano score) was not completed until May of that year. The whole was ready in full score by July 1, 1925. Dmitry Shostakovich must have shown his symphony to Alexander Glazunov before the graduation examinations while the work was still not finished. This is what he wrote many years later: "Alexander Konstantinovich Glazunov who at performers' examinations was benevolence itself—he would often give them top marks with a plus—was severe, exacting, even captious, when composers were examined. When I showed to him the beginning of my First Symphony (played on the piano, four hands) he did not like the harmonies in the Introduction, after the opening phrases from the muted trumpet, which seemed to him 'harsh'. He wanted me to change that passage and suggested his version.
I could not argue, naturally, I respected Glazunov and stood in awe of
him, and his word was law. Later, however, when the symphony was to be
performed by the orchestra and its score was to be published, I restored
my own harmonies, which displeased Alexander Konstantinovich."4
And in his article "Thinking about the Road Traversed" the comprser worte: "My First Symphony played an important role in my career of composer. It was well received by the public and musicians whereas members of the Association of Modern Music took a dim view of it. The success of my symphony encouraged me to apply myself to composition seriously. The work was an attempt to explore a profound idea and although it was an immature effort, its merit lay, it seems to me, in my sincere striving to reflect real life."
In the course of the year that passed before its orchestral premiere, Dmitry Shostakovich played his symphony several times on the piano in arrangements for two or four hands. After one of sucTi performances which took place at the Circle for New Music, Leningrad, an article appeared about the new symphony.6 On February 7, 1926, Dmitry Shostakovich played the symphony at a sitting of the State Scientific Council of the People's Commissariat for Education, held at the Moscow Conservatoire where student-composers from Moscow and Leningrad presented their works.7
Dmitry Shostakovich's Symphony No. 1 was first performed by the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra at the Large Philharmonic Hall in Leningrad on May 12, 1926. It was a signal success and its second movement was repeated at the demand of the audience. Soon after the premiere the composer wrote: "The symphony's turning out and sounding so well and the success it scored at the premiere have inspired me with confidence. If I manage to earn enough to keep body and soul together, I shall work most assiduously in the field of music to which I want to dedicate all my life."8
The score of Shostakovich's First Symphony was published by the Music Section of Gosizdat in 1927.
The present edition is identical with the autograph preserved at the Central State Archives of Literature and Art of the USSR (fond 653, descriptive list 1, bit of storage No. 2262). An incomplete autograph of this work is to be found at the same Archives (fond 2048, descriptive list 1, bit of storage No. 1); it is a preliminary version of the symphony, showing certain differences in orchestration as compared with the definitive score.
The present publication is based on the 1927 edition collated with later
editions appearing in the composer's lifetime.
Symphony No. 2, "Dedication to October" for orchestra and chorus, Op. 14, was written in 1927. Its concluding section is a chorus to words by A. Bezymensky.
Shostakovich started work on the symphony upon receiving, at the end of March 1927, a commission from the Propaganda Department of the Gosizdat Music Section to write a symphonic work for the 10th anniversary of the October Revolution.9 At first Dmitry Shostakovich did not intend composing a symphony. In a letter to L. Shulgin, Chief of the Propaganda Department, he wrote: "I am considering what I shall call my new work. I think 'symphonic poem' will about meet the case."10 When the composition was ready, Dmitry Shostakovich defined it as "Symphonic Dedication", a subtitle under which the work was performed and published for the first time. The composer concentrated on the score in the summer of 1927. In his letter referred to above he wrote: "The work progresses well. I spend much time on it. The music will last 12 mins., and the performance as a whole from 18 to 20 mins. Just now I have started on the most difficult section—the entry of the chorus, and if you remember Bezymensky's words, you'll see that they don't lend themselves to musical interpretation easily."
On Shulgin's suggestion Dmitry Shostakovich wanted to introduce factory whistles into his score. This is what he wrote about it: "I liked your idea very much and now I have come to the place where I should like to have a factory whistle. A few days ago I went to a factory and listened to the whistle to determine its range. The whistle sounds are very low. I want one in Fis. and it is essential that a crescendo should be obtained on it from ppp to fff. In case a whistle cannot be constructed capable of crescendo and diminuendo, it should be not so loud as a real factory whistle. And then its pitch must be precise. The whistles will be ad libitum as the saying is, and if none can be got, they may be replaced by some orchestral instruments. I should be wanting three or four whistles at the most. I'll specify their pitches later."
Dmitry Shostakovich discussed the content of this work and the composition problems encountered in it in his post-graduate student's reports written at the end of the twenties. He wrote: "In my October I wanted to express the idea of struggle and victory. In the orchestration I used a system of ultra-polyphony (27 simultaneously developed lines), which is strikingly dynamic."13 "This ultra-polyphony blends to create a polyphonic timbre. The whole work is largely polyphonic, I use here canon and fugue. The chorus is diatonic. The work is conceived as dialectically linear."
The symphony was completed in the summer of 1927 and in the early autumn Dmitry Shostakovich, then at a health resort in Detskoye Selo, was correcting its proofs. The score appeared in October of that year, when the composer received for this work First Prize at the Leningrad Philharmonic competition for symphonic music to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the October Revolution.
In 1940 the composer wrote: "I have experienced various influences in purely formal searchings but have always wanted to compose music reflecting our epoch, the thoughts and feelings of the Soviet man. In this way came into being my symphonies 'Dedication to October' with a concluding chorus and 'May First', and also music to films."
The premiere of Shostakovich's Second Symphony was given during the anniversary celebrations. The rehearsals in which the composer took an active part started at the end of October. This is what he wrote to Shulgin on November 7, 1927: "There were six rehearsals in all, the first just a run-through. I was present at all but this one and gave instructions to Malko on various points. The chorus is good. By the way, there is in the chorus a small interlude after the words 'called struggle!' where the strings refused to play pizzicato. I stake my life on it that the pizzicato can be played, but if a beginner composer writes something difficult the musicians assert that it is impossible technically. I had to agree to arco and, you know, it wasn't bad. All the same I hope that a time will come when this passage can be played as I want it."16 Shostakovich further wrote that he had sent detailed instructions to Konstantin Sarajev who was to conduct the symphony's Moscow premiere. "If, after the words 'O, Lenin' he does not accelerate the tempo and does not adhere in the concluding choral declamation to the rhythm and tempo specified in the score, the work will be a failure."
The composer's concern for the correct performance of his work shows that he was anxious about the reactions of his audiences. "The reception accorded my October by the workers' audience has convinced me of the correctness of the road I have chosen. When I compose I always try to make my music accessible and understandable to mass audiences, for only such audiences are real lovers of music, because music is one of the essentially mass arts.
Dmitry Shostakovich's Second Symphony was first performed by the Leningrad
Philharmonic Orchestra and A Cappella Choir at the concert for Leningrad
Teachers' Union in the Large Hall of the Leningrad Philharmonic on November
5, 1927. On November 6 the concert was repeated for the city's scientists.
The symphony's Moscow premiere took place at the first symphonic assembly
of the Association of Contemporary Music in the Hall of Columns of the
Trade Unions House on December 4, 1927.
The score was published by the Music Section of Gosizdat in 1927. The present edition is identical with the autograph preserved at the Central State Archives of Literature and Art of the USSR (fond 653, descriptive list 1, bit of storage No. 2270); it is based on the 1927 edition of the score.
All patent errors encountered in the MSS and published sources have been corrected without comment. Important discrepancies are discussed in the notes at the end of the volume.