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If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

SHOSTAKOVICH, Dmitri
b St Petersburg, 25 September 1906
d Moscow, 9 August 1975, aged sixty-eight

His parents were both musical and intellectual. His mother taught him piano from the age of nine; he entered the St Petersburg Conservatory in 1916 and became an outstanding pianist. His compositions received good reception from audiences, but from 1927 they were criticised by the Soviet authorities as not being sufficiently idealistic. Pravda bitterly attacked his opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District in 1936, and as one result he withdrew his Fourth Symphony, written in that year; it was not performed until 1961. However, with his Fifth Symphony he returned to the forefront of Soviet music. He taught at the Moscow Conservatory from 1942; but in 1948 he again displeased the authorities with so-called non-Soviet works. From then on he wrote on two levels; a private one, and one acceptable to Soviet ideology. He received the Stalin Prize and the Lenin Prize, travelled abroad a good deal, and was given an honorary doctorate by Oxford University. In the 1960s his health began to give serious cause for anxiety. Heart trouble was diagnosed, but nevertheless he continued writing until the end.

1919 (13)

Scherzo in F sharp minor for orchestra

Eight Preludes for piano

1920-1 (14-15)

Five Preludes for piano

1921-2 (15-16)

Theme with Variations, in B major for orchestra

1922 (16)

Two Fables of Krilov, for mezzo-soprano and orchestra

Three Fantastic Dances, for piano

Suite in F# minor for two pianos

1923 (17)

Piano Trio No 1

1924 (18)

Symphony No 1 in F minor (1924-5)

Scherzo in Eb for orchestra

Prelude and Scherzo for string octet (double string quartet) or string orchestra (1924-5)

1926 (20)

Piano Sonata No 1

1927 (21)

The Nose, opera (1927-8)

The Age of Gold, ballet (1927-30)

Symphony No 2 in B major, October, with chorus

Aphorisms, ten pieces for piano

1928 (22)

New Babylon, for orchestra (film music)

Six Romances on Words by Japanese poets, for tenor and orchestra (1928-32)

1929 (23)

Symphony No 3 in Eb major, The First of May, with chorus

1930 (24)

The Bolt, choreographic spectacle (1930-1)

Alone, film music (1930-1)

Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, opera (1930-2)

1931-2 (25-6)

Hamlet, incidental music

1932 (26)

From Karl Marx to Our Own Days, symphonic poem for solo voices, chorus and orchestra

Encounter, film music

Twenty-four Preludes for piano (1932-3)

1933 (27)

Piano Concerto No 1 in C minor, for piano, string orchestra and trumpet

The Human Comedy, incidental music (1933-4)

1934 (28)

Bright Stream, comedy ballet (1934-5)

Suite for jazz orchestra, No 1

Cello Sonata in D minor

Girl Companions, film music (1934-5)

Love and Hate, film music

Maxim's Youth (The Bolshevik), film music (1934 5)

1935 (29)

Symphony No 4 in C minor (1935-6)

Five Fragments for small orchestra

1936 (30)

Salute to Spain, incidental music

Four Romances on Verses of Pushkin, for bass and piano

Maxim's Return, film music

Volochayevka Days, film music

1937 (31)

Symphony No 5 in D minor

1938 (32)

Suite for jazz orchestra, No 2

String Quartet No 1 in C major

Friends, film music

The Great Citizen, film music

Man at Arms, film music

Vyborg District, film music

1939 (33)

Symphony No 6 in B minor

The Great Citizen, Part II, film music

1940 (34)

Piano Quintet in G minor

Three Pieces for solo violin

King Lear, incidental music

1941 (35)

Symphony No 7 in C major, Leningrad

The Gamblers, opera

1942 (36)

Native Leningrad, suite included in the theatre show Motherland

Piano Sonata No 2

Six Romances on Verses of English poets, for bass and piano

1943 (37)

Symphony No 8 in C minor

1944 (38)

Russian River, suite

String Quartet No 2 in A major

Piano Trio No 2

Children's Notebook, six pieces for piano

Eight English and American Folk Songs, for low voice and orchestra

Zoya, film music

1945 (39)

Symphony No 9 in Eb major

Two Songs

Simple Folk, film music

1946 (40)

String Quartet No 3 in F major

1947 (41)

Violin Concerto No 1 (1947-8)

Poem of the Motherland, cantata

Pirogov, film music

Young Guards, film music

1948 (42)

From Jewish Folk Poetry, song cycle for soprano, contralto, tenor and piano

Meeting on the Elbe, film music

Michurin, film music

1949 (43)

Ballet Suite No 1 for orchestra

String Quartet No 4 in D major

The Song of the Forests, oratorio

The Fall of Berlin, film score

1950 (44)

Twenty-four Preludes and Fugues for piano (1950-1)

Two Romances on Verses by Mikhail Lermontov, for male voice and piano

Byelinski, film music

1951 (45)

Ballet Suite No 2 for orchestra

Ten Poems on Texts by Revolutionary poets, for chorus a cappella

The Memorable Year 1919, film music

1952 (46)

Ballet Suite No 3 for orchestra

String Quartet No 5 in B flat major

Four Monologues on Verses of Pushkin, for bass and piano

The Sun Shines over Our Motherland, cantata

1953 (47)

Symphony No 10 in E minor

Ballet suite No 4 for orchestra

Concertino for two pianos

1954 (48)

Festival Overture, for orchestra

Five Romances (Songs of our Days), for bass and piano

1955 (49)

The Gadfly, film music

1956 (50)

Katerina Ismailova, opera (new version of Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District)

String Quartet No 6 in G major

Spanish Songs, for soprano and piano

The First Echelon, film music

1957 (51)

Piano Concerto No 2 in F major

Symphony No. 11 in G minor, The Year 1905

1958 (52)

Moscow, Cheremushki, musical comedy

1959 (53)

Cello Concerto No 1 in Eb major

1960 (54)

Novorossiysk Chimes (The Fire of Eternal Glory), for orchestra

String Quartet No. 7 in F# minor

String Quartet No 8 in C minor

Satires (Pictures of the Past), for soprano and piano

Five Days - Five Nights, film music

1961 (55)

Symphony No 12 in D minor, 1917

1962 (56)

Symphony No. 13 in Bb minor, Babi-Yar, for bass solo, bass choir and orchestra

1963 (57)

Overture on Russian and Kirghiz Folk Themes for orchestra

Hamlet, film music

1964 (58)

String Quartet No 9 in Eb major

String Quartet No 10 in Ab major

The Execution of Stepan Razin, cantata

1965 (59)

Five Romances on Texts from 'Krokodil' magazine, for bass and piano

1966 (60)

Cello Concerto No 2 in G major

String Quartet No. 11 in F minor

Preface to the Complete Collection of my Works, and Brief Reflections apropos this Preface, for bass and grand piano

1967 (61)

Violin Concerto No 2 in C# minor

Funeral-Triumphal Prelude, for orchestra

October, symphonic poem

Spring, Spring, for bass and grand piano

Sofyu Perovoskaya, film music

Seven Romances on Poems of Alexander Blok, for soprano and piano trio

1968 (62)

String Quartet No 12 in Db major

Sonata for violin and grand piano

1969 (63)

Symphony No. 14, for soprano, bass, string orchestra and percussion

1970 (64)

March of the Soviet Militia, for wind orchestra

String Quartet No 13 in Bb minor

Loyalty, eight ballads for male chorus

King Lear, film music

1971 (65)

Symphony No. 15 in A major

1972-3 (66-7)

String Quartet No 14 in F# major

1973 (67)

Six Poems of Marina Tsvetaeva, suite for contralto and piano

1974 (68)

String Quartet No 15 in Eb minor

Suite on Verses of Michelangelo Buonarroti, for bass and piano

Four Verses of Capitan Lebiadkin, for bass and piano

1975 (69)

Sonata for viola and grand piano

The Dreamers, ballet (largely drawn from The Age of Gold and The Bolt, with some new material)

It is believed that Shostakovich completed two movements of a Symphony No 16 just before his death.

 

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