Naxos to release Shostakovich' Odna in January 2008
November 27, 2007
The conductor Mark Fitz-Gerald and Naxos’ Peter Bromley have visited the Association Chostakovitch in Paris to present Mrs Irina Shostakovich, the composer’s widow, with copies of the new Naxos recording of the soundtrack to the sound/silent movie Odna (Alone), Shostakovich’s second film. For release in January 2008 on 8.570316, this is the world première recording of Mark Fitz-Gerald’s reconstruction of the score from the official Russian version of the film, made in close consultation with Mrs Shostakovich and published as Volume 123 in the new complete edition of the Collected Works.
Set in late 1920s Leningrad and then in the Altai Mountains in Russian Mongolia, Odna tells the story of a young teacher posted to a remote village in Siberia. The film boasts a dazzling score which calls for a huge orchestra including a banda (8 brass band instruments), theremin (Shostakovich was one of the first composers to write for this new electronic instrument), barrel-organ, a soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, a Mongolian throat singer and choir.
Mrs Shostakovich presented Mr Fitz-Gerald with the score for the 1936 movie Podrugi (Girlfriends), the story of three girls who grow up together and go on to be First World War nurses. Scored for permutations of string quartet, piano, trumpet, brass, timpani, organ, harp, theremin and full orchestra, Podrugi has never been performed or recorded. Mrs Shostakovich has graciously offered Naxos and Mark Fitz-Gerald the opportunity of making the first recording of the complete soundtrack and music that was not included in the film, together with another previously unperformed and unrecorded major symphonic work.
Conductor Mark Fitz-Gerald, Mrs Irina Shostakovich and Peter Bromley with the new Naxos release "Odna" in Paris, November 2007
Photo courtesy of Peter Bromley