Festive Overture for Orchestra. A Major.
Premiere: November 6, 1954 at a Celebration Concert which was given in the Bolshoi Theatre of the USSR by the Orchestra of the Bolshoi Theatre Conductor. S. Samosud.
The Festive Overture was included by Shostakovich in the programme for the only concert in which he appeared as a conductor and performer of his own works (November 12, 1962 in the town of Gorky with the symphony orchestra of the Gorky Philharmonia).
First Edition: "Muzfond" Publishers, Moscow, 1955.
Manuscript: Hand-written score in the Glinka State Central Museum for Musical Culture (Stack 2048, Inv. 1, Item 22).
Premieres abroad: November 16, 1955. New York. Conductor. M. Abravanel.
February 16-17, 1956. New York. Carnegie Hall. Symphony Orchestra. Conductor D. Mitropoulos.
"In this work I seek to convey the mood of a man who has gone through the tribulations of the war years and, after the defeating the enemies of his Motherland, is now engaged in the reconstruction of his country. I want to embody in musical terms the pathos of peace-time labour on the construction sites of the new Five-Year Plan. The overture does not contain sharp dramatic conflicts. Its themes are melodious, its orchestral techniques varied."
("Festive Overture" [A Conversation with D. Shostakovich]. "Vechernii Leningrad" - August 29, 1947)