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Article on the “New piano works by Dmitri Shostakovich” in Piano News 5 2020

The author Marco Frei has published a highly readable article in the current issue of the trade journal “Piano News” (5 2020) under the heading “New piano works by Dmitri Shostakovich - the unknown in the familiar”. The occasion for this topic was the renowned Shostakovich Days in Gohrisch. At the much-acclaimed festival, which has been held since 2010 and in which the Staatskapelle Dresden is also actively involved, unknown piano works by Dmitri Shostakovich were premiered for its eleventh year of existence.

Due to the pandemic crisis, however, 2020 concerts featuring the performers could only be experienced as online streams. The programme included a series of early works by Shostakovich from 1918 to 1920, premiered together with the “Three Fugues” from 1934 and an extended prelude sketch to the much-performed 24 Preludes and Fugues op. 87. None other than composer Krzysztof Meyer, who actually knew Shostakovich personally and published a highly interesting book about him, completed the prelude sketch and added a fugue.

Marco Frei writes in Piano News about the early works “Im Wald” (In the Forest),  “Nostalgia” and “Bagatelle”: “Even the titles of the works (...) reveal a strong affinity of the young Shostakovich to ‘German Romanticism’ in a broad sense, in particular to Robert Schumann and Frédéric Chopin. (...) The works now discovered, written between 1918 and 1920, do not bear any opus numbers. An exception is the Scherzo op. 1a. This work, which is actually well known, is a piano version of the original orchestra score. Otherwise, however, Shostakovich neither included the now discovered early works in his catalogue of works nor cited them in later works.”

Read the entire article in Piano News 5 2020 on pages 10 to 15.

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