New Collected Works Incidental Music

Hamlet. Music to the Play.

Volume 117

Hamlet. Music to the Play. Op. 32. Score.
Edited by Victor Ekimovsky. Explanatory Article by Michelle Assay.

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Act One

Introduction. Night Patrol. Shepherd’s Pipe. Funeral March. Exit of King and Queen. Dining Music. Flourish. Dancing Music. Finale of Act One.

Act Two

Passage of Hamlet and Boys. Galop of Ophelia and Polonius. Scene with Hamlet and Rosencrantz (Episode 1). (Episode 2). Arrival of the Players. Exit of Polonius with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Dialogue of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. The Hunt. Finale of Act Two.

Act Three

Music for the Performance of the Wandering Players. 1. Instruments Tuning Up. 2. Introduction. 3. Love Scene of King and Queen (Episode 1). (Episode 2).  (Episode 3). 4. Entrance of the Poisoner. 5. Music of Poisoning. 6. Exit of the Poisoner. 7. Scene after the Exit of the Poisoner (Episode 1). (Episode 2). (Episode 3). Entrance of the Guests. Music of Rehearsals (Episode 1). (Episode 2). (Episode 3). (Episode 4). Flute Scene. Episode after Flute Scene. Pantomime. Hamlet Carries the Body of Polonius (1st Version). (2nd Version). The King Drags the Queen. Fight. Bringing in the King. Claudius’s Monologue. Signals of Fortinbras. 1. 2. 3.
  Romance for the Feast. Feast. Cancan. Ophelia’s Song. Ophelia’s Departure. Lullaby. Introduction to the Graveyard Scene. Gravedigger’s Song. Requiem. Joust. Flourish. Fast Fight. Slow Fight. End of Joust. The March of Fortinbras. Passage of the Beggars. Horatio’s Song. Epilogue.

  The order of musical numbers and scenes is here reproduced employing several previously unresearched archival materials, and special care is taken to arrive as close as possible at Akimov’s original concept (for all the difficulties associated with that term). This order therefore differs from that suggested by Gerard McBurney for the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra’s CD recording of the incidental music, which in cases of doubt follows Shakespeare’s text rather than Akimov’s manipulations of it.
  Any future attempt at reconstructing the production should at least take the newly established order into account. On the other hand, contradictory reports, especially those by Yuri Yelagin, suggest that some last-minute changes might have been made in the choice of scenes and music. The famous “Flute Scene”, which according to Yelagin was accompanied by the parody of Davidenko’s march, might well have been a case in point, given that the “Hamlet and Rosencrantz” scene with this parody music was excised before the opening night.


Flauto (= Piccolo), Oboe, Clarinetto (B, A), Fagotto
2 Corni (F), 2 Trombe (B), Trombone, Tuba
Timpani, Triangolo, Tamburino, Tom-tom, Tamburo, Piatti, Cassa, Gong, Tam-tam, Flessatone
Soprano solo, Mezzo-soprano solo
Coro: Bassi
Violini I, Violini II, Viole, Violoncelli, Contrabassi

  This publication is based on the edition: D. Shostakovich, Collected Works, in 42 vols., Vol. 27, Muzyka Publishers, Moscow, 1987. Other sources are Suite, Op. 32a, published in 1960 by Sovetskiy kompositor Publishers and the incomplete hand-written copy of the score arranged for the parts by Lev Solin entitled “Items Not Included in the Suite of Hamlet”, kept in the museum of the Vakhtangov Theatre (Hamlet file, No. 27).
  The whereabouts of the author’s manuscript of the score is unknown, apart from “Pantomime” and “Ophelia’s Song”, which are kept at RSALA, rec. gr. 2048, inv. 2, f. 43. Several items not found in the author’s orchestration were orchestrated by Gerard McBurney in accordance with the piano score.
  When necessary, reference was also made to the piano score: D. Shostakovich, Collected Works, in 42 vols., Vol. 28, Muzyka Publishers, Moscow, 1987.

Appendix I

Additional Music for Hamlet Written for the 1954 Performance - Jig. Finale.

Appendix II

Ophelia’s Song (Version of the Author’s Orchestration for the Suite without the Vocal Part).