“Anti-Formalist Rayok”. Piano score. Score.
For Four Basses and Mixed Choir Accompanied by Piano and Narrator. Sans Op.
For Four Basses and Mixed Choir Accompanied by Symphony Orchestra and Narrator. Orchestrated by Boris Tishchenko.
Edited by Victor Ekimovsky. Explanatory Article by Svetlana Savenko.
English Translation of Libretto by Elizabeth Wilson.
Anti-Formalist Rayok occupies a special place in Dmitri Shostakovich’s oeuvre. It is a caustic and sombre satire on government campaigns with regard to music, primarily the Conference of Soviet Musical Functionaries at the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks), which resulted in the Resolution of 10 February 1948 “On Vano Muradeli’s Opera The Great Friendship” (published in Pravda on 11 February 1948). The Resolution, in turn, gave rise to numerous incriminating meetings at the USSR Union of Composers and other music institutions. Anti-Formalist Rayok also gave expression to a later similar event—the Second All-Union Congress of Soviet Composers held on 18 March-5 April 1957, or, to be more precise, the illiterate speech presented at it by Dmitri Shepilov, the Central Committee Secretary who was responsible for the arts. Rayok portrays real people of the time—such as the “author” of the parodistic preface, “Candidate of Graceful Sciences” P.I. Opostylov and his supporters, whose real names can be recognised behind the scatological “pseudonyms”.
Anti-Formalist Rayok, the text of which was written by the composer himself, is perhaps the only one of Shostakovich’s works that so openly demonstrates the author’s attitude to officialdom in art and to the Soviet authorities as a whole. Compared with it, the satirical opuses that Shostakovich wrote in the last fifteen years of his life are much more allegorical and metaphoric.
This publication of the piano score is being printed in accordance with the first 1995 edition (DSCH) published under the editorship of Manashir Iakubov on the basis of the author’s manuscripts (see “Description of Hand-Written Sources” in this volume).
The text of the preface is based on the version done according to the rough draft of the plan of the preface “From the Publishers” and the author’s manuscript of the full text of this preface corrected in keeping with the typewritten copies of it that have survived and published in the first, collotyped, edition of the composition.
Boris Tishchenko’s orchestration score is being printed in accordance with the copy of the author’s manuscript kept in the Hire Department of DSCH Publishers. There is a non-author’s copy in Dmitri Shostakovich’s Archive (rec. gr. 1, section 2, f. 118).
2 Flauti (II = Piccolo), 2 Oboi, 2 Clarinetti (B), Fagotto, Contrafagotto
2 Corni (F), 2 Trombe (B), Trombone, Tuba
Timpani, Tamburino, Raganella, Tamburo, Piatti
4 Bassi soli
Violini I, Violini II, Viole, Violoncelli, Contrabassi a 5 corde
The work was published soon after the premiere—first abroad with the original Russian text and the English translation by Elizabeth Wilson: D. Shostakovich, Anti-Formalist Rayok for Reader, Four Basses and Mixed Chorus with Piano Accompaniment, Text by the composer, English translation by Elizabeth Wilson, Anglo-Soviet Music Press Ltd. (No. 8261); Boosey&Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd., 1991;
and a few years later in Russia: D. Shostakovich, Anti-Formalist Rayok. For Four Basses and Mixed Choir Accompanied by Piano and Narrator (“From the Publishers”). Words by the Author, Edited and commented on by M. Iakubov, DSCH Publishers, Moscow.