January 8th - Premiere of the opera “Katerina Ismailova” in a new version on the stage of the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Theatre (op. 29/114).
December 2nd - Premiere in London.
“This year I have travelled a good deal round my country, I took part in ten-day festivals of Soviet music in Moldavia and Kirghizia. The ten days of our visit to the marvellous republics passed rapidly. During that time I made about 30 appearances. Some of the events took place even on highways along which our group made its way, in mountain pastures, in cotton-fields and everywhere we came across highly cultured people. We saw for ourselves that Communism is not merely a dream but also tangible reality.”
(“Pravda” - June 14, 1963).
January 10, 1963, Moscow
“The symphony is not going to be performed in the near future. I doubt if I shall be able to change anything in it.”
(From a letter to M. Shaginyan).
August 5, 1963, Zhukovka
“...I returned to Moscow from Armenia, where I spent a month in Dilizhan.<...> Now I am living at the dacha. I rarely come into town. I am working at my music trade. I have orchestrated Schumann’s cello concerto. I am orchestrating two very good pieces by the late A. Davidenko - ‘At the Tenth Verst’ and ‘Turmoil in the Street’.
Regarding composition nothing is happening.”
(From a letter to M. Shaginyan).
E. Andreyeva (performer of the part of Katerina Ismailova):
“Once after rehearsals - and Shostakovich was present at all rehearsals - we went into a classroom and he himself started accompanying me...It was the aria ‘There is a lake in the forests’...When he started to play, there was such power in his chords, such energy and he played it all so powerfully that, although he didn’t say anything and gave no advice, this energy seemed to be passed on through his music...I shall never forget this...
The recording of the opera ‘Katerina Ismailova’ was awarded a Grand Prix in Paris.
Dmitrii Shostakovich was so happy, when he came out on stage after the premiere. The ovations were incredible, I’ve never heard the like...”
(From an interview given to O. Dvornichenko).
August 23, 1963, Moscow.
“...I have a suggestion to make to you. I want to demonstrate to you and to the other post-graduates Benjamin Britten’s ‘Requiem’. I have a record of this work. I should very much like to acquaint you all with this, as I see it, almost great work. I also have the score of the requiem. You will be able to listen and see the score. <...>
It is essential that you and your friends listen to the ‘Requiem’. It is essential that you should acquaint yourselves with this work of a marvellous composer. That’s all I wanted to convey to you.”
(From a letter to B. Tishchenko).
October 2, 1963
“If it will be possible to implement my idea for a performance of works by my pupils, then I should ask you to write to each of them a letter with approximately the following content:
On such-and-such dates there will be a certain Festival in Gorky. We are planning in the course of that festival to organize a performance of works by Shostakovich’s pupils. Please let us know which of your works you would like to have performed at this Festival.’
<...> Of course you will receive a large number of titles by way of reply. Send me those titles, please. Then I shall select the works which I consider worth having performed at the Festival.”
(From a letter to Gusman).
To the Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU, Comrade Ilichev:
“In January and February 1963 four concert performances of Shostakovich’s Thirteenth Symphony took place. Not all parts of this symphony are of equal merit. Too much gloom, and an over-pessimistic tone permeate the text and music of the third part “In the Shop”, for instance. In the first part - Babiy Yar - the music as a whole comes over like a grieving requiem for the victims of fascism. At the same time certain parts of the text, because of their one-sided focus, clash with the general lofty timbre of the music.
At the present time concert organizers in our country and also musical institutions and conductors from foreign countries - Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, the GDR, the USA, the FRG, Japan, England and others - are approaching the Union of Composers of the USSR with persistent requests to supply them with the score for a performance of the Thirteenth Symphony <...>
Awaiting your instructions in this matter.
T. Khrennikov, First Secretary of the Union of Composers of the USSR.”
(From a letter to the Central Committee of the CPSU).
May 15, 1963
“The Union of Composers of the USSR (Comrade Khrennikov) has submitted a letter about the Thirteenth Symphony of D. Shostakovich, in which the question is raised concerning the wide-scale performance of this work in the Soviet Union and abroad. <...>
...wide-scale performance of this symphony at concert venues in this country was not considered expedient. It would be appropriate to instruct the Ministry of Culture of the USSR (Comrade Furtseva) to restrict performances of the Thirteenth Symphony by D. Shostakovich in future and to establish a procedure for its availability.
Comrade Khrennikov informs us further that many concert organizers abroad have also been approaching the Union of Composers of the USSR with requests for it to supply them with the score for performance of the Thirteenth Symphony.
It is also seen as essential to instruct the journal “Sovietskaya Muzyka” (Comrade Grosheva) to come forward with a principled evaluation of the Thirteenth Symphony by Comrade Shostakovich.
Your approval awaited.”
(From a memorandum of the Central Committee of the CPSU).