Optional banda in 1st movt: 2cornets-6saxhorns(2Eb alto,2Bb baritone, 2bass)
Optional banda in 9th movt: 2baritones
This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes
/ Sikorski for the UK, British Commonwealth (excluding Canada), Republic of Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey, Israel.
Splendid Palace Cinema, Leningrad
None / Nikolai Rabinovich
Score for the film by Grigori Kozintsev and Leonid Trauberg.
Shostakovich’s second film-score began life in 1930 as live orchestral music to accompany a silent movie. While working on it the directors, Kozintsev and Trauberg, were given permission to turn it into a sound movie (the technology had just arrived from America). This gave the composer the excuse to expand his ideas and try out some of his strangest orchestral and vocal effects.
The plot of this film concerns the fate of a young Russian girl who is sent from the big city to bring literacy and communism to a remote village in the Altai mountains. Faced with opposition from the conservative and superstitious village elder, she at first reacts with despair but then discovers that courage is the better option. To set the scene Shostakovich employs enormous forces including a symphony orchestra, brass band, organ, thereminvox (an early electronic instrument), solo singers and chorus. For the most part he uses these forces sparingly, to create an astonishing variety of eerie soundscapes from the city to the remote mountains and steppes of the Altai. Many of the moevements are scored for chamber forces. There are also some lively revolutionary songs.
The music of this film is available in a variety of suites and selections. It has also been reconstructed for live performance by chorus and orchestra with a complete projection of the film.
Note by Gerard McBurney