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L. Yadlovskaya

D. Shostakovich. “Two Fables by I. Krylov”: towards the problem of genre status

The article is devoted to one of the Conservatory works by D. Shostakovich drawn attention of the specialists at the close of 1960s and early 1970s. It is noted that research descriptions of “Two Fables by I. Krylov” are represented now in the series of published study works and some theses but genre specificity of this work to be no announced by the author needs the special examination. The certain complicacy of the latter is conditioned by the presence of two appropriate autographs: for a voice accompanied by piano (the chamber vocal version) and for soloist, and women’s chorus, and symphony orchestra (the vocal orchestral version). This “duality” is favorable to positioning “Two Fables…” both in the number of chamber vocal cycles by Shostakovich and among the earlier examples of his dramatic and “dramatized” music (“characteristic scenes” as forerunners of the operas and ballets to be, and even “vocal” symphonies of the 1960s). The studying of documental sources allows establish that orchestral belonging of the named work quite definitely fixed by the author. Moreover the “piano” version didn’t refer by Shostakovich in his correspondence, and named as “secondary” in catalogues-notographies. On the boundary of the 1960s – 1970s this version wasn’t recommended by the composer for publication in the music collection “Fables by I. Krylov” (Moscow, 1971). On the contrary, according to some original sources, the vocal orchestral version recommended by Shostakovich for the performing to be realized after “the second birth” of opera “The Nose” (October of 1974). It seems no accidental because more significant peculiarities of dramaturgy, musical formation and stylistics of “Two Fables…” indicate the leading role of “symphonic” art concept to be interpreted loosely. Thus a genre fundamental principle of the named opus is comic (satiric) cantata-“diptych”. It is evidence of the “chamberness” wittingly limited role in this work, and implies necessity the research scope broadening at the choral studies analysis of the vocal-orchestral score.

Key words

D. Shostakovich, the works of the 1920s, “Two Fables by I. Krylov” op. 4, genre identification, cantata-“diptych”.

For citation

Yadlovskaya L. D. Shostakovich. “Two Fables by I. Krylov”, op. 4: towards the problem of genre status // South-Russian Musical Anthology. 2022. No. 3. Pp. 20-30.