"The Limpid Stream". Ballet in three acts, four scenes.
Libretto by F. Lopukhov and A. Piotrovsky.
Premieres: April 4, 1935. Leningrad State Academic Maly Opera Theatre.Conductor P. Feldt.
November 30, 1935. Moscow. Bolshoi Theatre of the USSR. Choreographer: F. Lopukhov, conductor F. Faier.
Manuscripts: Hand-written score in the Central Music Library of the Maly Opera Theatre in Leningrad and the Museum of the State Academic Bolshoi Theatre.
Piano Score in the Glinka State Central Museum for Musical Culture
(Stack 32, Item 287).
Opus 39ą. Suite from the ballet "The Limpid Stream".
2. Russian Folk Paintings
First Performance: March 11, 1945.
Manuscripts: Whereabouts of the hand-written score unknown.
First Edition: D. Shostakovich, Collected Works, Vol. 26, 1987.
"Now I am finishing a new ballet... I find the libretto satisfactory. The action unfolds in a collective farm in the Kuban region. The characters are collective farmers and performers who are visiting the farm. The underlyingidea of the ballet is a comic one. I am inclined to call it a choreographic comedy, a genre which Lopukhov has captured splendidly. He is the author of the libretto and also the director. An atmosphere of bright colours and lightness ... these are the goals which the composer was aspiring to when creating this new ballet. The music has a lyrical quality and many comic elements".
("Krasnaya Gazeta", January 14, 1935)
MY THIRD BALLET
"The subject of this ballet is very simple and straightforward. The music in my view is merry, light, entertaining and, most importantly, just right for dancing. In this work I deliberately tried to find a clear, simple language ... equally accessible for the audience and the performers. Dancing to music that is lacking in rhythmic and melodic tautness is, in my view, not only difficult but quite simply impossible...
<...> 'Bright Stream' is my third ballet on a Soviet theme. The first two 'The Golden Age' and 'The Bolt' I consider most unsuccessful from a dramatic point of view. I think that the main mistake lay in the fact that the author of the libretto while trying to convey our world in a ballet, failed to take into account the specific requirements of ballet. Depicting socialist reality in a ballet is a very serious undertaking. A superficial approach is quite out of the question here. Episodes such as the 'Dance of Enthusiasm' or the pantomime portrayal of the work process (striking an anvils with a hammer) show up the inadequate approach to the problem of how to produce a realistic ballet on a Soviet theme.
I cannot be totally sure, of course, that my third attempt will not fail as well, but even then it will not stop me from trying again, a fourth time, to compose a Soviet ballet."