Works Chamber Compositions for Voice and Songs

Four Songs on Verses by Yevgeni Dolmatovsky

Opus SO Opus 87

Opus 86
1950-1951 year

Dmitri Shostakovich’s Vocal Compositions.


"The Motherland Hears" sung by Yuri Gagarin in orbit of the earth.

first publication:

1951. "Muzgiz" Publishers, Moscow.


Hand-written score in the RNMM (Stack 32, Item 92).

Four Songs on Verses by Yevgeni Dolmatovsky
For Voice and Piano

     The collection Four Songs on Verses by Yevgeni Dolmatovsky, Op. 86 was composed in 1950-1951. The exact dates the songs were written are unknown; they are missing in the author’s manuscripts that have survived. Nor is there any mention of the premiere of the cycle.
     Like several of Shostakovich’s other vocal collections, the songs on verses by Dolmatovsky were primarily performed separately, as independent pieces. The independence of the songs is emphasised by the differences between their performing casts: the first song ‘The Homeland Hears’ is for solo voice and choir a cappella, while the second, third and fourth songs (‘Rescue Me’, ‘He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not’ and ‘Sleep, My Darling Boy’) are for solo voice and piano. There is also an author’s reduction of the first song for solo and piano.
     Especially popular was the famous ‘The Homeland Hears’, which became established as an independent composition in the concert repertoire of choral groups.
The first edition of Op. 86 appeared in 1951—Muzgiz published three songs (all apart from ‘Rescue Me’). In 1956, Muzgiz also put out a separate edition of the song ‘The Homeland Hears’.
     The cycle was first recorded in full in 1998 by Viktoria Yevtodyeva and Yuri Serov.