Works Symphonies

Symphonic Fragment of 1945

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Opus SO
1945 year

Dmitri Shostakovich. Symphony Fragment of 1945

Symphonic Fragment of 1945

     The composition for symphony orchestra, published herewith, was discovered at the end of 2003, amidst unidentified manuscripts in Dmitri Shostakovich’s Archive. A search for Shostakovich’s unrealized symphonic ideas that were closest in terms of time to the period in question led to the Ninth Symphony, which as is well known was written in more than one stage, and made it possible to identify the manuscript as the first unfinished version of this Symphony.
     According to the testimony of contemporaries, Shostakovich started work on the sketches on 15 January 1945. Musicians who heard the beginning of the symphony, described it as ‘a triumphant, heroic major-key work in energetic tempo,’ a piece answering to the social mood on the eve of the final defeat of the Nazis and the end of the war. It is known, the composer suddenly broke off work on the symphony ‘and was never to return’ to it... Later on, after an interval of just over a year, he once said that after the version of the Ninth Symphony mentioned , he had begun another version but it, too, remained unfinished.’
     On 26 June 1945, Shostakovich began to write a new work—the G minor Sonata for Violin and Piano. By mid July Shostakovich, as he had done in the case of the pre-Ninth Symphony, decided against continuing the work.
     However, Shostakovich was not someone to turn his back on musical material. The second subject of the rejected version of the Ninth Symphony was used and even quoted ‘verbatim’ in the unfinished Sonata for Violin and Piano; and eight years later, it would be incorporated into the second subject of the first Movement of the Tenth Symphony, Op. 93.
     The world premiere of the Symphony Fragment (the concert version by Rozhdestvensky) was held on 20 November 2006 at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow as part of the Festival dedicated to the 100th Anniversary of Dmitri Shostakovich’s Birth. The composition was performed by the Russian State Academic Symphony Kapelle (art director and chief conductor—Valery Polyansky) under the baton of Gennadi Rozhdestvensky.


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