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Yu. Serov

Satirical vocal cycles by Dmitry Shostakovich in the orchestration of Boris Tishchenko

The subject of the research is an orchestration by the outstanding Russian composer of the second half of the 20th century Boris Tishchenko of three satiric vocal cycles by Dmitry Shostakovich. Tishchenko was a student, friend and follower of Shostakovich, his appeal to the works of the master, orchestration of “The Satires”, romances on texts from the “Crocodile” magazine and “Four Poems by Captain Lebyadkin” looks like a logical result of a fruitful human and creative communication of two composers. Particular attention in the article is paid to the arranger’s identification of the hidden meanings of Shostakovich’s works, the transfer of satire and grotesque to the orchestral, or more broadly – to the symphonic sphere. Shostakovich had an instrumental manner of thinking, what gave Tishchenko’s orchestration more natural quality. Tishchenko managed to find perfect instrumental variant of every type of piano texture that constitute the accompaniment of vocal cycles.

The main conclusion of the study is the understanding of the highest quality of Tishchenko’s scores, their strict compliance with the piano original on the one hand, and strengthening of the powerful satirical ideas of Shostakovich with the rich Tishchenko’s orchestra, on the other. Tishchenko deeply felt and understood the work of his mentor and paid tribute to the outstanding musician. The novelty of the research lies in the fact that this is the first time in Russian musicology when Tishchenko’s instrumentation is being analyzed in detail and as a whole. The article examines all three vocal cycles in the context of piano and orchestral sound, various timbre combinations used in the process of instrumentation, and gives characteristics of Tishchenko’s technical compositional choices.

Key words

Boris Tishchenko, Dmitry Shostakovich, vocal cycle, satire, grotesque in music, instrumentation, symphony orchestra.

For citation

Serov Yu. Satirical vocal cycles by Dmitry Shostakovich in the orchestration of Boris Tishchenko // South-Russian Musical Anthology. 2021. No. 2. Pp. 82–89.