Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Keyword Search
Mark Fitz-Gerald

“The film score for The Gadfly is the only work Shostakovich completed in 1955. It was a very difficult time for the composer: he had to face the death of his wife, Nina, at the end of 1954, followed by the sickness of both parents-in-law, as well as the death of his own mother. Nonetheless he managed to compose this dazzling score which shows no trace of the difficulties he was suffering. The Gadfly was destined to become one of the most popular and memorable works he had ever written.

Following the release of the film in the spring of 1955, Shostakovich’s assistant, Levon Atovmian, was asked to convert the score into a suite. The work has only ever been known in this form outside Russia. Atovmian had disfigured the music through major restructuring, including re-orchestration and cuts at the expense of the beauty, nobility, excitement and sheer variety of the original score.

Our restoration is based entirely on Shostakovich’s own handwritten manuscript, as well as the original soundtrack, which was clearly supervised by the composer himself. We sincerely hope he would have approved of our faithful restoration.”

Mark Fitz-Gerald, conductor

SHOSTAKOVICH, D.: Ovod (The Gadfly) (reconstructed by M. Fitz-Gerald)
Dmitry SHOSTAKOVICH (1906–1975)
The Gadfly
Complete Original Score for the 1955 Film
Reconstructed by Mark Fitz-Gerald
The Counterplan (excerpts)

Bachchor Mainz
Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz
Mark Fitz-Gerald


Set in mid-nineteenth-century Italy during a turbulent period of pre-Unification political unrest, The Gadfly drew from Shostakovich one of his most dazzling and popular film scores, heard hitherto on record only in a suite arranged and re-orchestrated by Levon Atovmian. This recording presents the full, original score for the first time, as closely as possible to Shostakovich’s original conception. Reconstructed by Mark Fitz-Gerald from the original manuscript and the Russian film soundtrack, it calls for a large orchestra including church bells, an organ, two guitars and a mandolin, all excluded from the Atovmian suite.

The excerpts from The Counterplan, which marked the fifteenth anniversary of the 1917 Revolution, include the infectious hit-tune
The Song of the Counterplan.

Listen to an extract from The Gadfly:
I. Overture

Listen to an extract from The Counterplan:
The Song of the Counterplan

About the Artists
Mark Fitz-Gerald
Mark Fitz-Gerald is well-known internationally for performing the specialised task of accompanying silent films live with orchestra. Described as “one of the indispensable Shostakovich interpreters of our time”, he has performed the Trauberg/Shostakovich classic New Babylon (1929) to great critical acclaim. With the help of Mrs Irina Shostakovich and Krzystof Meyer he restored the complete score for another Trauberg/Shostakovich film, Odna (1929), and his restoration is now published in the new complete edition of the composer’s works.
Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz
The Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz is the state's largest and most important orchestra that makes an essential contribution to the region's orchestral provision. Even during its founding years, with conductors such as Richard Strauss and Hermann Abendroth, the orchestra drew cross-regional attention. In particular, principal conductors such as Christoph Eschenbach and Leif Segerstam – today the honorary conductor of the orchestra – have helped the orchestra gain an international reputation.
Bachchor Mainz
The Bachchor Mainz has acquired an excellent reputation for its varied choral repertoire that ranges from the 16th century to the present, with a special focus on rarely performed works and contemporary music. The choir has released numerous recordings and has broadcast widely. Their performances with guest conductors such as Riccardo Chailly, Sylvain Cambreling, Michael Gielen, Eliahu Inbal, Georges Prêtre and Franz Welser-Möst are a testament to the choir’s outstanding quality.
Highly acclaimed film music recordings by Mark Fitz-Gerald
8.572824-25 • 2 CDs
New Babylon

Basel Sinfonietta • Fitz-Gerald
“Incredible re-thinking of movie music.
Fitz-Gerald and his Baslers do a crisp,
clean job.”
Odna (Alone)

Mataeva • Kiknadze • Voropaev
Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
“The brief vocal items are attractively done, and Fitz-Gerald secures playing of exceptional vitality from the Frankfurt orchestra.”
“Conductor Mark Fitz-Gerald has done his job excellently, and he leads a sensitive and cogent performance”

Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
“This performance by the Frankfurt orchestra is colorful and committed, and winningly recorded.”

View our special weekly features:
View all Features »


Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group