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Abbreviations (PDF)



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.


World Premiere
Khudozhestvenny Cinema, Leningrad
Sergei Yutkevich, director / Soyuzkino (Leningrad) / Nikolai Rabinovich
Repertoire Note

Score for the film by Sergei Yutkevich.

Shostakovich’s third film-score was for Yutkevich’s epic, ‘The Golden Mountains’. A backward Russian peasant moves from the country to the city where he finds work helping the industrial bosses break factory strikes. But his experience of the terrible living conditions of the working class opens his eyes and turns him into a revolutionary and he ends up leading a strike himself.

The music for this film was Shostakovich’s first attempt at the kitsch-heroic style already being tried in Hollywood. The result is one of the most varied, colourful and over-the-top of all his film-scores. He himself made a grandiose Suite from his score, op.30a, by taking six numbers from the film and splicing on to the end of the last one the closing bars of his 3rd Symphony to make a more effective heroic climax. This is music in glorious orchestral technicolour, designed to make the audience jump out of their seats. It is scored for lavish forces, including an organ, two harps and the plangent and ridiculously slithery sound of a Hawaiian guitar. The fugue (movement 3 of the Suite) for organ and orchestra is perhaps the most remarkable passage, an intensely dense tapestry of sound, almost in the manner of Charles Ives.

Note by Gerard McBurney

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