“FIRMLY IN THE CONTINUUM OF THE DISTINCTIVE TRADITION OF RUSSIAN FOLK DRAMA”: THE EXECUTION OF STEPAN RAZIN, INSCRIBED BY SHOSTAKOVICH
SHOSTAKOVICH, Dmitri. Op. 119. The Execution of Stepan Razin. Poem for Bass, Chorus, and Symphony Orchestra. Moscow: State Music Publishers, 1966. Quarto, original printed wrappers. $4500.
First edition of the piano vocal score, boldly inscribed by Shostakovich on the title page in Russian in 1969.
“The liberalizing trend in Soviet culture reached a highpoint in 1962. Shostakovich became interested in the courageous poetry of Evtushenko and selected five of his poems for the Symphony no. 13… Shostakovich and Evtushenko collaborated on another important work, the cantata Kazn’ Stepna Razina (‘The Execution of Stepan Razin’) for bass solo, mixed chorus and orchestra” (New Grove 17: 270). The Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra and the Choral Capella of the Russian Republic first performed Opus 119 on December 28th, 1964. Contemporary critics placed “the work firmly in the continuum of the distinctive tradition of Russian folk drama–with conspicuous homage to Musorgsky–as well as in clear relation to the composer’s recent historical and vocal-symphonic interest. In November 1968, nearly four years after its premiere, The Execution of Stepan Razin was awarded a State Prize” (Fay, 244-245). Title pages in Russian and English.
Interior fine. Light wear to bright original wrappers. A nearly fine copy.