Works Chamber Compositions for Voice and Songs

Preface to the Complete Collection of My Works and a Brief Reflection Apropos This Preface. For Bass and Piano

Opus 122 Opus 125

Opus 123
1966 year

Dmitri Shostakovich’s Late Chamber and Vocal Works Opp. 121, 123, 146 and their Instrumentations.


Small Hall of the Leningrad Philharmonia with the participation of the composer. Soloist Y. Nesterenko.

first publication:

1985. D. Shostakovich, Collected Works, Vol. 33, Moscow.


Archive of the composer’s family.

Text by Dmitri Shostakovich, incorporating the first epigram used by A. Pushkin in “History of a Versifier”. The epigram concerns A. Khvostov.
Duration: 2’

Preface to the Complete Collection of My Works and a Brief Reflection Apropos This Preface
For Bass and Piano, Op. 123

     Shostakovich wrote this work on 2 march 1966 after hearing the news that a Complete Collection of his works was being prepared for publication. Following the Krokodil romances, it continued the satirical vocal sketches of the 1960s.
     The composition was first performed on 28 may 1966 in the Small Hall of the Leningrad Philharmonic. Yevgeni Nesterenko sang the solo bass part and the author performed on the piano. The work was a rare guest at stage concerts, at least in the first years, which can possibly be explained by its semi-legal, unpublished status. It was not published for the first time until the 1980s—first by Germany’s Hans Sikorski Publishers, and then in the Soviet Union. In march 1986, Preface… was sung in London by baritone John Shirley-Quirk (Andrew Ball played the piano).
     Yevgeni nesterenko and Yevgeni Shenderovich (piano) did the first recording of the work. It went on to be performed and recorded by various artistes.
     The Chamber Music Theatre directed by Boris Pokrovsky ordered the orchestral version of Preface… from Leonid Desyatnikov for the A Century of DSCH performance for the composer’s 100th anniversary.
     In 2005, Deutsche Grammophon put out a recording of this orchestral transcription with Sergei Leiferkus, the male group of the Moscow Chamber Choir and the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Thomas Sanderling.


  • Mazzola R., Harris P. 1997 // MGB CD 6145, 1997