From Jewish Folk-Poetry. Song Cycle for Soprano, Contralto and Tenor with piano accompaniment.
Written between August 1 and October 24, 1948.
Lament over the death of a small child
Caring mother and aunt
Before a long parting
The Forsaken Father
Song about Need
The Good Life
First Performance: January 15, 1955 in the Small Hall of the Leningrad Philharmonia. Soloists: N. Dorliak, Z. Dolukhanova, A. Maslennikov and the composer at the piano.
First Edition: "Sovietskii kompozitor" Publishers, 1961.
Manuscripts: Hand-written piano score and drafts in the Russian State Archive for Literature and Art (Stack 2048, Inv. 1, Items 50 and 51).
Version for Orchestra, opus 79ą
Completed on October 1 of the same year.
First Performance: February 19, 1964 in the town of Gorky. Orchestra of the Gorky Philharmonia. Conductor G. Rozhdestvensky. Soloists: L. Avdeyeva, G. Pisarenko, A. Maslennikov.
Manuscripts: The hand-written score is in the Russian State Archive for Literature and Art (Stack 2048, Inv. 3, Item 9).
First Edition: D. Shostakovich, Collected Works, Vol.31, Moscow, 1982.
"Sometimes you have the urge to write music when you come across a literary source that moves you. The cycle 'From Jewish Folk-Poetry' probably would not have been written, if I had not come across a book of folk poetry..."
(Quotation from a book by S. Khentov, "Musicians about their Art", Moscow, 1967)