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Symphony V, Movement One (Shostakovich)

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Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich (trans. Schaeffer)


General Info

Year: 1937 / 1970
Duration: c. 17:30
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Shawnee Press Inc.
Cost: Score and Parts - $100.00   |   Score Only: $20.00


Instrumentation

Full Score
Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
Contrabassoon
Eb Soprano Clarinet
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
Eb Alto Clarinet
Bb Bass Clarinet
Eb Contra-Alto Clarinet
Bb Contrabass Clarinet
Alto Saxophone I-II
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone
Cornet (in Bb) I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Euphonium
Tuba
String Bass
Piano and Celesta
Harp
Timpani
Percussion I-II, including:

  • Cymbal (crash)
  • Glockenspiel
  • Snare Drum
  • Tam-Tam (2)
  • Xylophone


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

Dmitri Shostakovich was 29 years old when Pravda published on 28 January 1936 an article attacking the "formalism" of his sometimes decadent music and attributing the success abroad of his opera "Lady Macbeth" to its politically neutral ideology. A subsequent article in The Worker and the Theatre described Shostakovich as "the foremost representative of tendencies harmful to Soviet art." The composer took criticisms quite seriously and for a period of almost two years worked diligently and stubbornly at the task of "rebuilding" and reformulating his stylistic credo. The great difficulty he experiences in that endeavor was demonstrated when he elected to withdraw his Fourth Symphony, written in 1936, after it had been placed in rehearsal.

Symphony No. 5 was completed in 1937 and was first performed on 21 November by the Leningrad Philharmonic. It was a popular as well as critical success in Russia and later in other parts of the world and was the vehicle which liberated the composer from the "fetters of musical formalism" and established him as the most brilliant of Soviet composers.

Of his Opus 47 Shostakovich has written "the theme of my symphony is the maturing of the human personality. In the center of this composition, conceived lyrically from beginning to end, I saw man with all his joys and sorrows. That is the principal point of this work."

Nicolas Slonimsky has written "The Fifth Symphony does not represent a radical departure from Shostakovich's highly individual style, but rather summarizes all its most striking qualities, and infuses the music with great dramatic and dynamic power...It's opening bars are ostentatiously Beethoven-like, but the essence is Shostakovich's. The two chief characteristics of his talent, the rhythmic-vitality and a song-like nostalgia, once more assert themselves."

The first movement -Moderato- begins with a motif canonically presented and develops its two themes into fantasia-like implications. It has been described as classic in its clarity, romantic in its urgency, contemporary in its color, Russian in its lyricism, and dynamic in its totality.

- Program Note by William Schaefer


Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.


State Ratings

  • Florida: VI


Performances

To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Brooklyn (N.Y.) Wind Symphony (Jeff W. Ball, conductor) – 10 June 2017


Works for Winds by this Composer


Resources

  • Volkov, Solomon. (1979). Testimony. New York: Harper & Row, Inc.