World premiere of version
Symphony Hall, Birmingham
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra / Mark Elder CBE
1.Bacchanalia 2.Polka 3.Transition to the Field 4.The Field 5.Dance 6.Transition ot the Field Hospital 7.Galop 8.The Bottom of the River 9.Introduction to Act II 10.Petrushka 11.The Storm 12.The Jugglers 13.Adagio 14.Waitresses 15.Paradise I: Flight of the Cherubim 16.Paradise II: Flight of the Angels 17.The Archangel Gabriel's Number 18.Waltz 19.Finale to Act I: Dance of the Temporary Victors
In 1931 Shostakovich wrote a full-length score for the Leningrad Music Hall, for a show that involved many of the leading entertainers of the day, as well as dancing girls, a jazz band, a dancing dog, sequences of silent film, simulated air-raids and gas attacks, a lorry, a storm, waiters and waitresses in a luxury restaurant, river nymphs and even a scene in Heaven with the Devil, the Twelve Apostles, the Archangel Gabriel and all the other angels doing a blasphemous knees-up.
The show was naturally a momentary scandal and the score soon disappeared. In 1991 Gerard McBurney reconstructed from the surviving sketches a sequence of 21 of the orchestral numbers to make a hilarious sequence of gallops, saucy polkas, marches and schmoozy waltzes. This is music to make the audience laugh out loud.
In 1999 the composer’s original score of the first 2 numbers of Hypothetically Murdered turned up. These consist of an Overture and a dance number called The Ruination of the City (neither of which appear in the McBurney arrangement), lasting together about 6’.
Note by Gerard McBurney