Classical Music Home

The World's Leading Classical Music Group

Email Password  
Not a subscriber yet?
Keyword Search
  Classical Music Home > Music News

World première recording of the complete score to Shostakovich’s New Babylon

June 23, 2011

The Basel Sinfonietta, conducted by Mark Fitz-Gerald, has recorded Shostakovich’s 1928 score for Grigori Kozintsev and Leonid Trauberg’s silent black-and-white film New Babylon at the Volkshaus in the orchestra’s home town. The recording, which took place between 1st and 3rd May 2011 and was produced by Andreas Werner, was made between a run of live performances in Switzerland and Luxembourg.

This new recording is unique for a number of reasons. It is the first complete recording of all the surviving music, derived from the original ‘lost’ manuscript full score of New Babylon, and the first to use five solo string players only, as the composer would have expected. By the start of the present century the composer’s highly industrious widow, Irina Antonova, had established a centre in Paris for the study of her late husband’s life and work as well as establishing a privately funded publishing house dedicated to the publication of a new complete edition of the composer’s works in 150 volumes. One of the first full size colour facsimiles to be made available at the Paris centre was the original ‘lost’ manuscript full score of New Babylon. The availability of this score was obviously of immense importance as, at long last, we were able to check the multitude of textural queries that had accumulated over many years. Among the many surprises, and perhaps the biggest of them all, the ‘lost’ manuscript revealed that there were nearly 130 more bars after what we had known up to that time to be the final (and unresolved) chord!

Unfortunately, the original very last bars are either separated somewhere or lost. We have therefore reused 4 bars from Reel 4 and the last 3 bars of Lucia’s Funeral March from Salute to Spain, Op. 44, to bring the music to a conclusion.

Mark Fitz-Gerald and Peter Bromley

Photos from the recording session:

Basel Sinfonietta with Mark Fitz-Gerald, Andreas Werner, and Pierre-Alain Biget

left-right: Pierre-Alain Biget, Andreas Werner, Mark Fitz-Gerald, and Peter Bromley

Basel Sinfonietta Discography

Mark Fitz-Gerald Biography & Discography

Dmitry Shostakovich Biography & Discography


Famous Composers Quick Link:
Bach | Beethoven | Chopin | Dowland | Handel | Haydn | Mozart | Glazunov | Schumann | R Strauss | Vivaldi
7:16:39 AM, 14 October 2015
All Naxos Historical, Naxos Classical Archives, Naxos Jazz, Folk and Rock Legends and Naxos Nostalgia titles are not available in the United States and some titles may not be available in Australia and Singapore because these countries have copyright laws that provide or may provide for terms of protection for sound recordings that differ from the rest of the world.
Copyright © 2015 Naxos Digital Services Ltd. All rights reserved.     Terms of Use     Privacy Policy
Classical Music Home
NOTICE: This site was unavailable for several hours on Saturday, June 25th 2011 due to some unexpected but essential maintenance work. We apologize for any inconvenience.