Symphony No.15. A Major.
Premiere: January 8, 1972. Moscow. Great Hall of the Conservatoire. Main Symphony Orchestra of the All-Union Radio and Central Television. Conductor M. Shostakovich.
On March 24, 1972 in the same hall the symphony was performed by the State Symphony Orchestra of the USSR.
On May 5, 1972 the symphony was performed by the Symphony Orchestra of the Leningrad Philharmonia. Conductor Y. Mravinsky.
During 1972 Symphony No.15 was performed in many cities of the Soviet Union, in Britain, the United States and other countries.
First Edition: Score, “Sovietskii kompozitor” Publishers, Moscow, 1972.
Manuscripts: The hand-written score is in the archive of the composer’s family.
“The symphony was written in the summer of 1971. I worked on it intensively but quite fast - about two months. This is a work written for a comparatively small orchestra. I am very anxious before the premiere...”
(“A New Symphony by Shostakovich”, “Sovietskaya Rossiya” - January 8, 1972)
“ The last works by Shostakovich were distinguished by a remarkable skill for producing a strong impact through quiet music <...> profoundly moving in its essence, elevated and impeccable <...>
There is a special tone to all Shostakovich’s last works, in comparison to what went before. In addition to his magnificent mastery, amazing depth and clarity of vision there was now added what I should call a celestial essence of being. Shostakovich has no or virtually no unfinished works - indicative of the scale and class of a true master. He used to say to us -- his students and post-graduates - that music should only be written straight on to paper, only in ink and without a piano. We used to ask - ‘And what if we make mistakes?’ He would say: ‘Think before you write the notes down’”.
(From an interview given to O. Dvornichenko. Published for the first time)