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Dmitri Shostakovich, "Galop"

February 3, 2018

Galop

Dmitri Shostakovich (trans. Donald Hunsburger)

Born: September 25th, 1906, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Died: August 9th, 1975, Moscow, Russia

Composed: 1959

Duration: 2 minutes

 

This light-hearted romp comes from a larger work by Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich.  Moscow, Cheryomushki is a satirical three-part operetta set in a housing project in southwest Moscow.  It premiered on January 24, 1959.  The libretto was written by notable Russian humorists Vladimir Mass and Mikhail Chervinsky and centers around the chronic housing shortages of urban Russians.  Although he wrote over one hundred minutes of fascinating music to this libretto, Shostakovich was a critic of the operetta.  In writing to his acquaintance Isaak Glikman, just days days before the premiere, the composer said this: 

 

I am behaving very properly and attending rehearsals of my operetta.  I am burning with shame.  If you have any thoughts of coming to the first night, I advise you to think again.  It is not worth spending time to feast your eyes and ears on my disgrace.  Boring, unimaginative, stupid.  This is, in confidence, all I have to tell you. 

 

Gramophone provides a more detailed synopsis here.  

 

 

 

Shostakovich, Galop, trans. Hunsburger 

New York Wind Symphony, Richard F. Regan, conductor

 

Additional Resources:

“Moscow, Cheryomushki”: Remembering Russian Operetta

 

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