Works Compositions for Choir and Orchestra (with or without soloists)

“The Execution of Stepan Razin”

Opus 118 Opus 121

Opus 119
1964 year

“The Execution of Stepan Razin”. Op. 119. Cantata. Score.
“The Execution of Stepan Razin”. Op. 119. Cantata. Piano score.
premiere:

28-December-1964

Moscow, Great Hall of the Conservatoire. Orchestra of the Moscow Philharmonia. Conductor K. Kondrashin. Academic Russian Capella Choir. Artistic Director and conductor A. Yurlov. Soloist A. Gromadsky.

first publication:

1966. Score, “Muzgiz” Publishers, Moscow.

manuscripts:

The hand-written score is in the Russian State Archive for Literature and Art (Stack 2048, Inv. 3, Item 14) and the archive of the composer’s family.


The Execution of Stepan Razin
Cantata for bass soloist, mixed choir and orchestra
Words by Yevgeni Yevtushenko

     Dmitri Shostakovich began the symphonic poem The execution of Stepan Razin for bass soloist, mixed choir and orchestra on 8 July 1964 and finished it on 14 September. This piece was based on Yevgeni Yevtushenko’s poetry. Shostakovich used a fragment from the poem titled Bratsk Station. Yevtushenko’s poem was aimed at singing the praises of ‘faith in humanity’s radiant future’ despite the ‘diffidence and pessimism’. The poem focused on the labour of the builders of the Bratsk hydropower station, uniting different images, topics and heroes of the past and present related to the idea of impending progress, and the episode devoted to Stepan razin (The execution of Stepan Razin) was one of them.
     Rehearsals of The execution of Stepan Razin began in Moscow on 22 December 1964, and the work was first performed six days later, on 28 December, in the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. The RSFSR Academic Russian Choir directed by Aleksandr Yurlov and the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Kirill Kondrashin participated in the premiere. Vitali Gromadsky performed the solo bass part.
     On 5 January 1965, Gromadsky again sang the solo part at the second performance of the symphonic poem in Moscow.
     On 10 January 1965, the symphonic poem was performed at the opening of the Ten­-Day Festival in Minsk, in the concert hall of the Philharmonic, and again a few days later in Gomel.
     On 24 January 1965, the work was successfully performed in Gorky (now Nizhniy Novgorod).
     On 6 March 1965, the poem was performed in Moscow in the Grand Hall of the Conservatory for the third time and again was a huge success, and on 27 March, it was performed for the first time in Leningrad during Kirill Kondrashin’s tour.
     In the spring of 1966, the symphonic poem was performed once more in Leningrad during the White Nights Festival that coincided with the composer’s 60th birthday.
     In October 1966, The execution of Stepan Razin was successfully performed in Donetsk; and in April 1967, it was performed at a music festival in Tomsk. From the time of the premiere until the end of 1968, Yurlov’s Academic Choir performed the work a total of 23 times.
     At the end of 1967, The execution of Stepan Razin was performed in Moscow in the Grand Hall of the Conservatory. Shostakovich invited Izrail’ Gusman from Nizhny Novgorod to conduct this extremely important performance of his composition nominated for the State Prize.
In 1968, Shostakovich’s vocal­symphonic poem The execution of Stepan Razin was awarded the USSR State Prize.
     The full score of the symphonic poem was published for the first time by Muzyka in 1966. The same publishers put out The execution of Stepan Razin in the author’s arrangement for voice and piano.
     In 1965, Shostakovich’s work was recorded for the first time by the RSFSR Academic Russian Choir directed by Aleksandr Yurlov and the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra under Kirill Kondrashin, with Vitali Gromadsky as soloist.
     In 1967, the poem was recorded by the Leipzig Radio Symphony orchestra (soloist Siegfried Vogel, conductor Herbert Kegel) and the Slovak Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra (soloist Bohuš Hanák, conductor Ladislav Slovák).


recordings:

  • Academic Symphony Orchestra of the Moscow State Philharmonic Society, State Academic Republican Choir. Artistic Director: A. Yurlov Soloist: V. Gromadsky Conductor: K. Kondrashin 1965 // Le Chant du Monde LDX-A-78376,
  • Academic Symphony Orchestra of the Moscow State Philharmonic Society, State Academic Republican Choir. Artistic Director: A. Yurlov Soloist: V. Gromadsky Conductor: K. Kondrashin 1965 // Angel Melodiya SR 40000,
  • Academic Symphony Orchestra of the Moscow State Philharmonic Society, State Academic Republican Choir. Artistic Director: A. Yurlov Soloist: V. Gromadsky Conductor: K. Kondrashin 1965 // Melodia Eurodisc 73 639 KK,
  • Academic Symphony Orchestra of the Moscow State Philharmonic Society, State Academic Republican Choir. Artistic Director: A. Yurlov Soloist: V. Gromadsky Conductor: K. Kondrashin 1965 // Melodia D-016471-2, 1966
  • Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra. Soloist: Z. Vogel. Conductor: H. Kegel 1967 // PHILIPS 434 172-2, 1992
  • Orchestra and choir of the Slovak Philharmonic. Soloist: B. Hanak. Conductor: L. Slovak. 1967 // Supraphon SUA 10958 SUA ST 50958, 1968

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