Works Film Music

“The Story of the Silly Baby Mouse”. Music to the Cartoon

Opus SO Opus SO

Opus 56
1939 year

“The Story of the Silly Baby Mouse”
Shostakovich’s Music to the Films of Mikhail Tsekhanovsky


"Lenfilm". Directed by Mikhail Tsekhanovsky

first publication:

1987, "Muzika" № 10889. D. Shostakovich, Collected Works, Vol. 41, Moscow.


Whereabouts of the hand-written score unknown. Fragments of the vocal parts and scores are in the Leningrad State Archive for Literature and Art (Stack 257, Inv. 16, Item 2105). Piano score in the family archive.

Duration: 29’

"Animation is also a very interesting technique, which demands an equally effective expression in music. <...> I have been working with great satisfaction on this piece.
It is my first experience of working on music for a children's film. <...> The music for this film consists of a lullaby, which is sung by a mouse, a duck, a piglet, a toad, a horse, a pike and a cat. The song varies according to the character of the singer. The music is merry and lyrical.
<...> the cat won't eat the little mouse, Old Dog Polkan will save the Mouse."

The Story of the Silly Baby Mouse
Music to the Cartoon
Op. 56

     M.M. Tsekhanovsky came up with the idea for the film of The Story of the Silly Baby Mouse based on Samuel Marshak’s story of the same name at the end of 1934, while he was still working on the film The Story of the Priest and His Helper Balda.
     The director’s diary shows that from the very beginning the idea not only meant cooperation with Shostakovich, but also presumed filming to finished music.
     Tsekhanovsky did not begin to realise his idea until the end of the 1930s. Marshak and Tsekhanovsky wrote the script for the film.
     The film was completed in 1940 and appeared on the screen at the same time.
     Shostakovich wrote the music to the film in the early spring of 1939.
     The music was recorded at the end of April or beginning of May 1939.
     According to the evaluation set forth in the literature, The Story of the Silly Baby Mouse by Shostakovich and Tsekhanovsky, ‘is a children’s film opera with the participation of soloist-vocalists and an orchestra’.
     In 1979, the first concert performance of The Story of the Silly Baby Mouse was held in Leningrad under the supervision of Tiles. In 1981, the conductor recorded this composition.