Works Piano Compositions

Variations on Glinka’s Theme

Opus 104 Opus 105

Opus SO
1957 year

Dmitri Shostakovich’s Piano Miniatures of Different Years
first publication:

It was published in the february issue of Sovetskaya muzyka for 1957 as a Music Appendix.


The author’s manuscripts are kept in Dmitri Shostakovich’s Archive: Nos. 8, 9—rec. gr. 1, section 1, f. 162, No. 11—rec. gr. 1, section 1, f. 161.

Variations on Glinka’s Theme
for Piano

     A collective work by Soviet composers on Vanya’s song from the opera Ivan Susanin.

     The Variations are arranged in the following order: Var. 1—Eugen Kapp; Var. 2 and 3—Vissarion Shebalin; Var. 4—Andrei Eshpai; Var. 5—Rodion Shchedrin; Var. 6—Georgy Sviridov; Var. 7—Yuri Levitin; Var. 10—Dmitri Kabalevsky; Vars. 8, 9, 11 and finale—Dmitri Shostakovich.
     Shostakovich not only used the theme, but also followed Glinka’s style to some extent in accordance with the tradition of hommage, implying that the composers address themes of their great predecessors (and sometimes also contemporaries) in order to pay respect to their music.
     It is natural to presume that the composition was timed to the centenary of Glinka’s death on 3 [15] February 1857. It was published in the February issue of Sovetskaya muzyka for 1957 as a Music Appendix. The publication is not accompanied by an introductory article or commentary. The available musicological sources contain no information about how this idea emerged or how the work was composed.
     The three variations written by Shostakovich were recorded by Boris Petrushansky.