Life Chronicles

On 28 January 1935, an evening dedicated to Shostakovich’s creative work was held at the Leningrad House of the Artist, during which the artists did drawings of him. In the spring of 1935, Shostakovich made a concert tour of Turkish cities with a large group of Soviet musicians.
The premiere of the ballet The Limpid Stream was held at the Leningrad Maly Opera Theatre on 4 June 1935. In the autumn of the same year, choreographer Fyodor Lopukhov began working on a production of the ballet for the capital’s Bolshoi Theatre. top theatre.
The premiere of The Limpid Stream at the USSR Bolshoi Theatre was held on 30 November 1935. The ballet was a resounding success here, too. Thirty years later, when comparing these two productions, Lopukhov wrote that in Leningrad “the audience responded to this performance with more delight than to any other. Performances followed one after another in an auditorium that was always full to overflowing... The Limpid Stream also enjoyed huge success in Moscow.”

D. Shostakovich on tour in Turkey.
April 4th - Premiere of the ballet “The Limpid Stream” (ор.39).
Performance of fragments from the opera “Lady Macbeth” in New York with Toscanini as conductor; premieres of the opera in the Metropolitan Opera House, Cleveland, Stockholm and Bratislava.

“Now I have set myself the task of finding my own, simple and expressive musical language. <...> Speaking simply does not mean in any sense speaking in the way people used to speak 50-100 years ago.”

April 14, 1935, Istanbul

“The view of Istanbul from the ship completely overwhelmed me with its beauty.”

November 1935, Moscow

“Today I had the enormous good fortune to attend the final meeting at the Congress of shock-workers. I saw Comrade Stalin in the presidium. Of course, today is the happiest day of my whole life: I have seen and heard Stalin.”

April 13, 1935, Istanbul

“I have arrived safe and sound in Istanbul. Our approach to the city I shall remember for a long time. I had never seen anything as beautiful before. This evening we are going to Ankara. We paid a visit to the director of the local Conservatoire. Then we went to see the Governor and finally at 7:30 in the evening we shall be taking the train to Ankara. Istanbul is an exquisitely beautiful city.”

April 14, 1935

“I shall try briefly to describe my arrival in Turkey, or rather that of our group. Yesterday on April 13th I got up at 5 in the morning and came out on deck... The ship was already at its mooring in the Bosphorus. At 6 o’clock the sun came up. I have to say that the sight of Istanbul from the ship shook me to the core with its beauty. It is quite impossible to imagine. It has to be seen to be believed.”

April 17, 1935

“It is almost a month since I left Leningrad. I miss it horribly. Nor does it look as if I shall be back soon, because we still don’t know when we shall be returning home. Life is rather busy. There are concerts every day starting from today. On the 10th Oborin and I shall be giving a piano recital. At the large concerts (mixed repertoire) I play the small piano pieces. Time passes unnoticed. One thing is unfortunate: because of my neurasthenia I am terribly anxious before each performance. I envy Lev and all the other singers for whom performing at a concert is something routine and ordinary...”

September 3, 1935

“This is how things are with me: first I have written a bad ballet entitled ‘The Limpid Stream’. I won’t do it down too much. When the time comes you can go and see it and tear a strip off it. Lopukhov’s restless soul has choreographed wonderful dances for it. Piotrovskii has written a mediocre libretto and I have written the bad music. Then I composed five good pieces for orchestra. In Polenovo I began work on an opera but so far I am disappointed with the subject. I’ll tell you more about it when we meet. At the moment I am working on the music for the film ‘Girlfriends’. Given that the director of this film L. Arnshtam is my old and close friend, I could not refuse to do this. I am quite enjoying it anyway, because the film is going to be superb... Apart from that I have also started work on a symphony. It is going well so far. <...>
One more piece of news. On the 3rd, 13th and 23rd of every month quite a large group of musicians comes round to my flat and we study various musical works. This is something essential and we all enjoy it very much.”

November 1935, Moscow

“Something else has happened at the Bolshoi Theatre: Merited Artist of the Republic L. Kubatsky has been dismissed. He has lost his job as a studio director and as a conductor. Yesterday I went to see him and tried to console him.
That’s the end of the sad part of this letter.
Today I had the enormous good fortune to attend the final meeting of the Congress of shock-workers. In the presidium I saw Comrade Stalin, Comrades Molotov, Kaganovich, Voroshilov, Ordzhonikidze, Kalinin, Kosior, Mikoyan, Postyshev, Chubar, Andreyev and Zhdanov. I listened to the speeches made by Comrades Stalin, Voroshilov and Shvernik. I was captivated by the speech Voroshilov made, but after listening to Stalin I lost all sense of proportion and together with the whole audience I shouted ‘Hurrah’ and couldn’t stop applauding. His historic speech you’ll be able to read in the newspapers, so I shall not relay it to you here. Of course, today is the happiest day of my whole life: I have seen and heard Stalin.
The Congress began today at 1 o’clock and because of this I left the rehearsal at the Bolshoi Theatre early.”