Works Compositions for Solo Voice(s) and Orchestra

Six Romances on Verses by W. Raleigh, R. Burns and W. Shakespeare (Opus 62) for Bass Soloist and Chamber Orchestra

Opus 139 Opus 141

Opus 140
1971 year

Six Romances on Verses by W. Raleigh, R. Burns and W. Shakespeare.


November 30, 1973. Moscow. Great Hall of the Conservatoire. Moscow Chamber Orchestra. Conductor R. Barshai. Soloist Y. Nesterenko.

first publication:

1982. D. Shostakovich, Collected Works, Vol. 31, Moscow.


In the archive of the composer’s family.

Duration: 15’

Six Romances on Verses by W. Raleigh, R. Burns and W. Shakespeare (Opus 62)
for Bass Soloist and Chamber Orchestra

     Shostakovich wrote the cycle of Six Romances on Verses by W. Raleigh, R. Burns and W. Shakespeare for bass soloist and piano in 1942.
     In 1971, Shostakovich returned once more to the cycle of verses by British poets and created a version for bass soloist and chamber orchestra. The date indicated by the composer for completion of the score of the new orchestrated version is 9 January 1971. The manuscript was immediately prepared for press and as early as March the romances were published by Muzfond under the double opus number 62/140.
     The chamber version of the cycle under Op. 140 was performed for the first time on 30 November 1973 in the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory by Yevgeny Nesterenko and the Moscow Chamber Orchestra under Rudolf Barshai.
     The cycle was performed in Kiev on 2 March 1975 in the Lysenko Hall of Columns of the Kiev Philharmonic. As in Moscow, Nesterenko was the bass soloist, this time accompanied by the Kiev Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Blazhkov. In Shostakovich’s home town, the premiere of the romances in chamber version was held after the composer’s death—on 27 September 1976 in the Glinka Small Hall of the Leningrad Philharmonic (soloist Yevgeny Nesterenko, Leningrad Chamber Orchestra, conductor Lazar Gozman). The first foreign performance of Op. 140 took place on 23 November 1982 in New York’s Carnegie Hall (US) with James Morris and a chamber orchestra under Lazar Gozman.
     Following the premiere of the chamber version of the cycle in January 1974, its first recording on a vinyl record appeared in Moscow (soloist Yevgeny Nesterenko, Moscow Chamber Orchestra, conductor Rudolf Barshai), which was later reissued several times, in 1977, 1978 and 1991. In subsequent decades, a few more recordings of Op. 140 were done performed by Sergey Leiferkus and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra (conductor Neeme Järvi), Stanislav Suleimanov and the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra (conductor Mikhail Yurovsky), Alexei Mochalov and the Moscow Chamber Music Theatre Orchestra directed by Boris Pokrovsky (conductor Anatoly Levin), Robert Osborn and the Vermont University Orchestra (conductor Robert DeCormier), and Ildar Abdrazakov and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra (conductor Gianandrea Noseda).
     The version of the cycle for bass soloist and chamber orchestra Op. 140 was printed for the first time by Muzfond Publishers in 1971. The next edition came out in Volume 32 of Dmitri Shostakovich’s Collected Works (Muzyka Publishers, Moscow, 1982).


  • Orchestra of the Moscow Chamber Musical Theater. Artistic Director B.A. Pokrovsky. Soloist: A. Mochalov Conductor: A. Levin 1995 // TRITON 17 008, 1996
  • Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra. Soloist: S. Suleymanov. Conductor: M. Yurovsky 1994 // CAPRICCIO 10 778, 1998
  • Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. Soloist: Leiferkus S. Conductor: Järvi N. 1993 // Deutsche Grammophon 439 860-2 G H, 1994