Bartók, Béla Viktor János
Bennet, Richard Rodney
Bozza, Eugène Joseph
Dahl, Walter Ingolf Marcus
Del Tredici, David
Griffes, Charles Tomlinson
Guarnieri, Mozart Camargo
Hanson, Howard Harold
Hüe, Georges Adolphe
Jirák, Karel Boleslav
Kennan, Kent Wheeler
La Montaine, John
Williams, Ralph Vaughan
Prelude for Flute and Piano No 17, Op. 34
Dmitri Shostakovich: Prelude for Flute and Piano No 17, Op. 34 was written in 1933. Originally Shostakovich wrote 24 preludes for piano which were arranged according to the principle of parallel tones (e.g. C Major, followed by A minor, etc.) and encompass the entire chromatic scale. These divertissements were composed when Shostakovich completed his first symphonies and operas “The Nose” and “Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District”. According to the composer’s biographer Krzysztof Meyer, Shostakovich spent only a few hours composing each prelude. Even though the original, piano version displays an almost cynical gravity, the flute version achieves lightness and even buoyant transparency.
This transcription was made by Dita Krenberga.
Ieva Oša (piano), live from the concert 24.09.2006. Upe, 2007
Prelude No 17
Dmitri Shostakovich (1906 – 1975) was a Soviet-era Russian composer and pianist. Born in Saint Petersburg, in a family of engineer, he started to take piano lessons from his mother at the age of 9. Displaying a remarkable ability to remember what his mother was playing in the previous lesson he eventually entered the Conservatory at the age of 13.
He gained immediate recognition with his 1st symphony which he wrote at the age of 19 as his graduation piece. After his studies he continued to work as a pianist but often was criticized for too dry keyboard style and, after 1933 he continued to perform only his own compositions. By that time he already completed his 2nd symphony and opera “The Nose”, followed by more successful opera “Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk”. From 1936, when Stalin paid a rare visit to the opera, and Great Terror started to gain steam, Shostakovich’s music was heavily criticized and only dire efforts from many more or less influential admirers of his talent saved him and his career. Shostakovich redeemed himself with his 5th symphony which was musically more conservative. Later he remembered: “I'll never believe that a man who understood nothing could feel the Fifth Symphony. Of course, they understood, they understood what was happening around them and they understood what the Fifth was about."
During World War II Shostakovich tried to enlist in the military but was turned away because if his poor eyesight. Instead, he volunteered for the Leningrad Conservatory’s firefighter brigade and composed his famous 7th symphony. When the Cold War began the Soviet authorities tried to impose stronger ideological control over what have been produced by composers. Shostakovich was forced to leave his teaching positions at the Moscow and Leningrad conservatories and his music was banned, thus he suffered from severe lack of income. During that period of time, he wrote film music to be able to survive, continued to write some official works aimed to secure his rehabilitation, and more serious works “for the desk drawer” like his Violin Concerto No1. Etc. Only after Stalin’s death in 1953 Shostakovich regained his ability to perform most of his works, including his 10th symphony. Since 1960 when he joined the Communist Party he was left to pursue his creative career without interference by officials. After his death in 1975, his music became the subject of furious disputes about whether the composer was a sincere communist or rather dissident. Nevertheless, Shostakovich’s legacy has had an enormous impact on 20th-century music.