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FEATURED COMPOSERS
Shostakovich, DmitriSymphony No.1 in F minor op. 10 (1923-25) 34'
for orchestra

Scoring
3(III=picc).2.2.2-4.3.3.1-timp.perc:tgl/SD/BD/cym/tam-t/glsp-pft-strings.
Abbreviations (PDF).

Territory
This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the UK, the countries of the Commonwealth (excluding Canada), Republic of Ireland, mainland China, Korea and Taiwan.

World Premiere
5/12/1926
Large Philharmonic Hall, Leningrad
Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra / Nikolai Malko


Repertoire Note  
The teenage Shostakovich made his international reputation with his First Symphony, written while he was still a student between 1923 and 1925; few composers in history can have pulled off such an auspicious opening to their career. Astonishing brilliance and quicksilver fluency of orchestral writing are matched by dark undertones of mockery and tragic foreboding. This work is at once unique in the composer’s output and yet filled with premonitions of all to come.

At first hearing, this symphony’s four movements have an almost playfully neo-classical surface, but the music is constantly unpredictable, full of strange twists and turns, sometimes hilariously funny, sometimes startlingly moving and personal. From its sinewy sinister opening for solo trumpet and bassoon, through its helter-skelter piano-dominated scherzo and sombrely thoughtful slow movement right to its strident blast of trumpets and trombones at the very end, this piece – composed eighty years ago - still keeps audiences amazed and on the edge of their seats.

Note by Gerard McBurney

Recommended Recording
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. Karel Ancerl
Supraphon SU36992

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