Eight British and American Folk Songs. Sans. op.
For Voice and Orchestra. Instrumented by Dmitri Shostakovich. Score.
Edited by Victor Ekimovsky. Editor-in-chief Manashir Iakubov.
The score of Eight British and American Folk Songs Instrumented by Dmitri Shostakovich is being published for the first time.
The publication is based on the author's manuscript kept in the Glinka State Central Museum of Musical Culture (GSCMMC, rec. gr. 32, f. 96).
The editors also took into account the text of the score mimeographed by the USSR Muzfond, as well as the hand-written copies of the score kept at DSCH Publishers Hiring Department.
The scores of the songs were written on separate sheets that are arranged in the author's manuscript in the order they were subsequently registered in the mentioned mimeographed version of Muzfond. The songs are numbered in the author's manuscript in pencil by an unknown hand. This numeration indicated the order the songs were performed at the premiere: it was precisely in the program of the Concert of British Music held at the Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow on 25 May 1943.
The inscriptions before the music of each instrumentation designating the name of the song, its national affiliation, the author of the text, if known, the author of the translation, and so on were done by an unknown hand or are missing altogether in the author's manuscript.
In all of the songs, apart from the last, there is neither an English nor Russian text. In No. 8, the
Russian text has been inserted into the vocal part, but there is no English text there either.
The absence of texts in the author's manuscript of the first seven songs shows without a doubt that Samuel Bolotin and Tatyana Sikorskaya did the translations after Shostakovich had completed his work. This was precisely why the composer did not include any text underlay in the score in the vocal part. The likelihood of this presumption is also confirmed by the fact that in several pieces the demand for equirhythmic translations is not observed (more on this in the comments to each individual song).
We do not know which sheet music publications in particular Shostakovich used. This made it much more difficult to find the original English texts.
Derek Hulme identified all eight parts of Shostakovich's score with the English originals. He also indicated the authors of some of the texts:
No. 2. John Anderson, my Jo (author, Robert Burns).
No. 4. Oh, the Oak and the Ash (English air).
No. 5. Servants of King Arthur (version of English folk song “Three Sons of Rogues”).
No. 7. Spring Round Dance — “Come Lasses and Lads”.
No. 8. When Johnny Comes Marching Home (author, Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore).