New Collected Works Compositions for Solo Voice(s) and Orchestra

Shostakovich's Vocal Cycles of the 1920s-1930s.

Volume 87

Two Fables by Ivan Krylov for Mezzo-soprano, Female Chorus (Mezzo-sopranos) and Orchestra, Op. 4. Six Romances on Japanese Poems for Tenor and Orchestra, Op. 21. Three Romances on Poems by Alexander Pushkin for Bass and Chamber Orchestra, Op. 46a. Scores.
Edited by Victor Ekimovsky. Explanatory article by Manashir Iakubov.

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Two Fables by Ivan Krylov.

For Mezzo-soprano, Female Chorus (Mezzo-sopranos) and Orchestra. Op. 4 (1922)

  1. The Dragonfly and the Ant.
  2. The Ass and the Nightingale.

  This is the earliest of young Shostakovich's few chamber vocal works that have survived. In the list of compositions compiled in 1932, the composer dated this work 1920-1921. The author's dating apparently relates to the versions for voice (chorus) and piano. The orchestral score undoubtedly appeared a little later. We will note that the music of the score differs greatly from the original version with piano accompaniment.


Piccolo (= Flauto III), 2 Flauti, 2 Oboi, 2 Clarinetti (B, A), 2 Fagotti, Contrafagotto
4 Corni (F), 3 Trombe (B), 3 Tromboni, Tuba
Timpani, Triangolo, Piatti
Celesta, Arpa
Mezzo-soprani (12)
Violini I, Violini II, Viole, Violoncelli, Contrabassi


To Mikhail Vladimirovich Kvadri.

  The score is being published according to the text of the first edition (Muzyka Publishers, Moscow, 1982) collated with the author's manuscripts of the score and piano score.

  Since there are many discrepancies between the score music of “The Ass and the Nightingale” and the author’s piano score, in Appendix we give the version of the arrangement for voice and piano that corresponds precisely to the score. Arranged by Victor Ekimovsky.

Six Romances on Japanese Poems.

For Tenor and Orchestra. Op. 21. 1928-1932

  1. Love. The words of an unknown author. Translation by A. Brandt.
  2. Before Suicide. The words of Otsuno Odzi (7th century). Translation by A. Brandt.
  3. Immodest Glance. Words by an unknown author of 18th century. Translation by A.Brandt.
  4. For the First and Last Time. Words by A. Prace.
  5. Hopeless Love. Words by an unknown author.
  6. Death. Words by an unknown author.


Piccolo (= Flauto II), Flauto, 2 Oboi, Clarinetto piccolo (Es), 2 Clarinetti (B), Clarinetto basso, 2 Fagotti, Contrafagotto
4 Corni (F), 3 Trombe (B), 3 Tromboni, Tuba
Timpani, Piatti, Tam-tam
Campanelli, Silofono
2 Arpe
Tenore solo
Violini I, Violini II, Viole, Violoncelli, Contrabassi


Nina Vsilievna Varzar

  There is a large number of discrepancies in the music of the piano score and the score of the first three items in the cycle. This is explained by the fact that the orchestral version was written four years after the first three romances appeared. In some cases, these discrepancies are very significant and apply to the formal structure of the music and to its artistic and emotional content.

Three Romances on Poems by Alexander Pushkin.

For Bass and Chamber Orchestra. Op. 46a. 1936

  1. Renaissance.
  2. “A jealous maiden, sobbing bitterly...”.
  3. Presentiment.


Clarinetto (B)
Basso solo
Violini I, Violini II, Viole, Violoncelli, Contrabassi

  In the author’s manuscript, the voice part is placed on the upper line of the score. In the 1982 edition (Muzyka Publishers, Moscow, 1982), the comments (p. [288]) state that the author’s notation has been retained, but in the first system of the first item (p. 55), the Basso part is placed between the harp and the strings. In this edition, the vocal part has been placed, in keeping with the generally accepted standards, above the strings.
  There are no tempo and dynamic designations in the author’s manuscript. The 1982 edition indicates that they have been added in keeping with the piano score edition (but does not indicate which one in particular). Nor are there any number references in the author’s manuscript and in the 1982 edition. In this edition, they have been inserted by the editor.