Shostakovich’s Music to the Films of Mikhail Tsekhanovsky
The Story of the Priest and His Helper Balda. Music to the Black-and-White Cartoon. Op. 36. Score. Published for the first time.
The Story of the Silly Baby Mouse. Music to the Cartoon Colour Film. Op. 56. Score.
Edited by Sergey Chebotaryov. Explanatory Article by Manashir Iakubov. Editor-in-Chief Manashir Iakubov.
Shostakovich’s cooperation with one of the initiators of the Russian art of animated film (cartoons), Mikhail Tsekhanovsky (1889–1964), occupies a special place in the composer’s cinematographic experiences. Tsekhanovsky proved to be the only director Shostakovich worked with on cartoons and in the genre of musical film-fairytales aimed first and foremost at a children’s audience.
The Story of the Priest and His Helper Balda
The author’s manuscript of the score to The Story of the Priest and His Helper Balda has not survived in full. Only seven items have been found in different depositories. Fourteen items of the score which were written by a copier have also survived. What is more, in the GSCMMC (rec. gr. 32, f. 113) there are the rough drafts of 24 items, 11 of which are missing in the scores.
In this edition the music score to the film The Story of the Priest and His Helper Balda is being published in the version compiled by composer Vadim Bibergan, one of Shostakovich’s students at the Leningrad Conservatory. Vadim Bibergan worked on his teacher’s composition during the staging of the ballet Balda at Russia’s Bolshoi Theatre in 1999.
Vadim Bibergan fully restored 11 items on the basis of the rough drafts. This work was particularly difficult since the drafts were written very laconically, often in the form of monophonic lines, without any harmonic or facture elaboration.
In Mikhail Tsekhanovsky’s script, the film is divided into four parts, but Shostakovich does not make this division (we will remind you that the score is far from complete and in disconnected form), but there is an author’s manuscript with the title “Finale of Part One”, and in two cases, there are notes in the hand-written copies of the score, which without a doubt apply to the author’s manuscript: “2nd Part No. 14. Balda’s II Job” and “2nd P[art]. No. 15. Priest’s Daughter’s Dream.” Based on this, the entire score is divided in this edition into two parts.
Shostakovich’s work is not based on Alexander Pushkin’s fairytale, but on Tsekhanovsky’s libretto (script). There are discrepancies between Tsekhanovsky’s script and Pushkin’s text. There are discrepancies between Shostakovich’s score and piano score and both of these sources.
There are no metronome marks in most of the items of the score that have survived, and they are also naturally missing in the drafts.
In some cases, the number references are entered beginning from the first bar. Some items in the hand-written copies do not begin with number 1. This is probably explained by the fact that some groups of items were conceived by Shostakovich for performing attacca and were numbered in sequence. This hypothesis is confirmed by the sequence of number references in the items of Part One, which were numbered by the composer.
Bibergan set forth the sequence of items in the score being published. He proposed the timing for all the parts of the score. The total length of the soundtrack is 48'15''.
Since the state of the sources required a large number of small detailed clarifications and corrections to the music, in the bar-by-bar comments only the most important of them are noted.
The Story of the Silly Baby Mouse
The author’s manuscript of the score of The Story of the Silly Baby Mouse has been lost. In the 1970s, the score was restored by Boris Tiles in compliance with the orchestral parts kept in the Leningrad State Archives of Literature and Art (LSALA, rec. gr. 257, inv. 2, f. 2105) and the author’s manuscript of the piano score kept in Shostakovich’s family archives.
Since among the orchestral parts which serve as the basis for restoring the score there were no voice-parts, Tiles made use of the above-mentioned author’s manuscript of the piano score.
The remarks explaining the content of the film are borrowed only to a certain extent from the author’s
manuscript of the piano score. They were mainly added by Tiles. Some discrepancies in the texts of the voice-parts in the score and in the phonogram of the film are noted in the comments.
The score was published for the first time in Volume 41 of Dmitri Shostakovich’s Collected Works (Muzyka Publishers, Moscow, 1987).