Symphony No.4. C Minor.
1. Allegretto poco moderato
2. Moderato con moto
3. Largo. Allegretto
First Performance: December 30, 1961.
The first performance of the symphony by the orchestra of the Leningrad State Philharmonia Orchestra was planned for the autumn of
1935, however, the composer cancelled the performance.
The symphony was performed for the first time on December 30, 1961 in Moscow in the Great Hall of the Conservatoire by the Moscow State Philharmonia Orchestra with K. Kondrashin as conductor.
First Edition: "Sovietskii kompozitor" Publishers, 1962.
Manuscripts: Whereabouts of the hand-written score unknown. Fragments of the first and third parts of the work are kept in the Russian State Archive for Literature and Art (Stack 2048, Inv. 1, Item 4).
" At the moment I am about to start writing my Fourth Symphony which will be something in the way of a credo for my creative work. <...>
The main task facing me now is to find a simple and expressive musical language all of my own. Sometimes this search for a simple language is understood in a rather superficial way. Often 'simplicity' can turn into mere imitation. Yet, to speak simply does not mean speaking in the way people used to fifty or a hundred years ago. This is a trap which many composers fall into, when they are anxious of being reproached for formalism. Formalism and mere imitation are the worst enemies of Soviet musical culture. If he avoids
this Scylla and Charybdis, the Soviet composer can become a true champion of our great era".
(D. Shostakovich, "My Creative Path", "Izvestia", April 3, 1935)
"The composer's score for this symphony has not survived. The only copy of this score which was in Leningrad was reconstituted from the orchestral ones. He gave me a very friendly greeting and said:' So many years have past, I have forgotten a great deal and the score is lost. Leave me the transcript, I'll go through it: come to me the day after tomorrow and then we'll decide whether we can play it or it needs reworking'.
Two days later I arrived at the given time and Shostakovich said as he handed back the score: 'It can be played as it is. I shall ring Leningrad and they'll send you the score. You don't have to re-work it at all, there is something in this symphony still dear to me today'."
(Manuscript. Published for the first time)