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Last year saw the launch of a newly revised and corrected edition of all 15 Shostakovich symphonies, bearing fruit from the merging of publishers Boosey & Hawkes and Sikorski. The latest releases include his most performed score Symphony No.5, alongside the orchestral Nos.4, 7, 8 and 10 and No.13 ‘Babi Yar’ with solo bass and male chorus.

Boosey & Hawkes and Sikorski announced last year a revised and corrected new edition of all 15 symphonies by Dmitri Shostakovich, due to be completed in readiness for the 50th anniversary of the composer’s death in 2025. Following the launch with Nos.1, 9, 11 and 15, the latest batch includes Nos. 4, 5, 7, 8, 10 and 13, all released as large format study scores for optimal legibility. The scores and related orchestral parts have been newly computer typeset, and the parts are also compatible for performance use with scores in ‘The New Collected Works of Dmitri Shostakovich’.

> Buy scores in the new Shostakovich symphony edition

Sikorski became a sister company of Boosey & Hawkes in 2019 when it joined the Concord group, seeing its operation combining with Boosey & Hawkes’s German office in Berlin. Both publishers have a long history of specialising in Russian and Soviet era music and have joined their expertise together to produce the new Shostakovich edition. This publishing project sits alongside new resources jointly produced for promoters and performers preparing for the 50th anniversary of Shostakovich’s death which falls in 2025.

> View our Shostakovich 2025 brochure (PDF)
> Explore our detailed Shostakovich work list (PDF)

Symphony No.4 (1935-36)
Study Score 979-0-003-04371-5  192pp
The fateful Pravda article ‘Muddle Instead of Music’ appeared in January 1936, in which Shostakovich was directly attacked for his opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, at which point the composer had completed about half of his Symphony No. 4. Although the new score already demonstrated the particularly criticised characteristics such as intellectualism, remoteness from the people, incomprehensibility and the like, Shostakovich continued to write his Fourth undeterred. However, a few days before the planned premiere in December 1936, Shostakovich decided to withdrew the new work and thus narrowly avoided an official ban. It was not until 1961 that Symphony No. 4 was finally premiered in Moscow under the direction of Kirill Kondrashin.

Symphony No.5 (1937)
Study Score 979-0-003-04372-2  172pp
In the summer of 1937 – during the dangerous time of Stalin's Great Terror – Shostakovich completed his Symphony No. 5. The Pravda article ‘Muddle Instead of Music’ from January 1936, which condemned the composer and his opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, resulted in Shostakovich fearing for his life for years. He withdrew his experimental Symphony No. 4 shortly before its premiere – and then presented a work in his Fifth that on the surface met all the demands of the imposed Socialist Realism. One critic even characterised the new symphony as "the creative response of a Soviet artist to justified criticism" – a paraphrase that Shostakovich subtly subverted in this work with its allusive ambiguity.

Symphony No.7 ‘Leningrad’ (1941)
Study Score 979-0-003-04374-6  212pp
While the German Wehrmacht besieged Leningrad, Shostakovich wrote his ‘Leningrad’ Symphony. More than a million people died during the 28-month-long isolation of the city. Against this backdrop, Shostakovich's Symphony No. 7 became a symbol for the trapped Leningraders of their solidarity and will to survive. At its premiere and even more so at its first Leningrad performance on 9 August 1942, while the city was still under siege, the symphony was greeted with euphoric enthusiasm. The commentator at the live radio broadcast described the concert: "The whole hall stood up during the finale. You couldn't stay seated and listen. It was impossible."

Symphony No.8 (1943)
Study Score 979-0-003-04375-3  160pp
Shostakovich's Symphony No. 8 was composed within a period of only a few weeks in 1943. Its unusual formal structure, with five very unevenly balanced movements, was not the only thing to alienate the critics at first: above all, the expected triumphant final movement was missing, which would have symbolised the turning point of the on-going war after the Battle of Stalingrad. While it was officially agreed that this symphony reflected the horror of war, the conductor Kurt Sanderling, a friend of Shostakovich, said that it was a representation of the "horror of an intellectual's life at that time".

Symphony No.10 (1953)
Study Score 979-0-003-04377-7  200pp
Nine months after Stalin's death on 10 December 1953, Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10 was premiered as his first symphonic composition since the end of the war. It was later interpreted by Solomon Volkov as a coded description of Stalin and the years of his regime. Although the music can certainly be understood in that sense - both in the extremely carefully composed first movement and in the brutal Scherzo which is claimed to be a portrait of Stalin - such an interpretation has remained controversial to this day. What is clear is that this dark work contains not only allusions to compositions by Mahler and Sibelius, but also frequent and richly varied appearances of Shostakovich’s own monogram DSCH and that of one of his students Elmira Nazirova.

Symphony No.13 ‘Babi Yar’ (1962)
Study Score 979-0-003-04380-7  220pp
In September 1961, Yevgeny Yevtushenko's poem ‘Babi Yar’ appeared in the Soviet Literaturnaya Gazeta, addressing the mass shooting in 1941 of more than 33,000 Jewish men, women and children on the outskirts of Kyiv by the city’s German occupiers. Deeply moved by the poem, Shostakovich took it as the starting point for his Symphony No. 13 for bass, male choir, and orchestra. The work was premiered on 18 December 1962 at the sold-out Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, despite resistance and intimidation from the political leadership which sought to avoid such an explicit reference to Jewish suffering. The first performance, which was acclaimed by the audience, was mentioned in Pravda the next day with only a brief single sentence.

The remaining Shostakovich symphony releases in the new edition, to be published later this year and in early 2025, include Nos.2, 3, 6, 12 and 14.

>  Further information on Work: Symphony No. 5 in D minor

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