chapter  11
30 Pages

Shostakovich in the Mid-1930s: Operatic Plans and Implementations (Regarding the Attribution of an Unknown Autograph)∗

Recent archival finds have enabled us to clarify, supplement and in some cases even change prevailing views about several moments in Dmitrii Shostakovich’s creative life. Among the unidentified drafts of Shostakovich’s music stored in the Glinka State Central Museum of Musical Culture (GTsMMK),1 I discovered a single sheet of manuscript paper with the authorial pagination 1-2. On this was written, in Shostakovich’s hand, the fragment of a score consisting of 122 bars, for strings, piccolo, flute, cor anglais, clarinets in [email protected], [email protected] and bass, bassoon and two harps, plus a vocal part for a high female voice with an indication of the name of the soloist – Elena. The vocal part starts, following an extended instrumental introduction, at bar 101, suggesting that the autograph is the beginning of a musical stage work, possibly an opera, one of whose characters bears the name ‘Elena’.2