Suite for Variety Orchestra (Shostakovich)

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The Suite for Variety Orchestra (post-1956) is a suite in eight movements by Dmitri Shostakovich. The work consists of a collection of movements which derive from other works by the composer. It is also named Suite for Variety Stage Orchestra, for example in Derek Hulme's Shostakovich catalogue. [1]

For many years the Suite for Variety Orchestra was misidentified as the "lost" Suite for Jazz Orchestra No. 2 (1938), a different work in three movements that was lost during World War II, the piano score of which was rediscovered in 1999 by Manashir Yakubov, and orchestrated the following year by Gerard McBurney.

Shostakovich actually labelled the work as "No. 1", but no "No. 2" is known to exist. (However, Shostakovich biographer Derek Hulme announced in 2000 the discovery of a Suite for Variety Orchestra No. 2 in four movements.)

Instrumentation[edit]

The work is scored for an orchestra of 2 flutes (with piccolo), an oboe, 4 clarinets, 2 alto saxophones, 2 tenor saxophones (the first tenor doubling on soprano saxophone), a bassoon, 3 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, a tuba, timpani, 3 percussionists (with triangle, tambourine, side drum, bass drum, cymbal, suspended cymbal, glockenspiel, xylophone and vibraphone), guitar, harp, celesta, 2 pianos, accordion and strings.

Movements[edit]

According to a note by the composer, any number of the pieces may be played, and in any order. The order of movements given in the New Collected Works of Dmitri Shostakovich series is as follows:

  1. March
  2. Dance 1
  3. Dance 2
  4. Little Polka
  5. Lyric Waltz (in C minor and E-flat major)
  6. Waltz 1 (in B-flat major and A major)
  7. Waltz 2 (in C minor and E-flat major)
  8. Finale

Background[edit]

The Suite was first performed in a Western country on 1 December 1988 in Barbican Hall, London, conducted by Mstislav Rostropovich, under the title Suite for Jazz Orchestra No. 2.

The work was recorded by Riccardo Chailly conducting the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in 1991, (also erroneously identified as the Jazz Suite No. 2) and released on a disc entitled Shostakovich: The Jazz Album (Decca 33702). The movements on that recording were ordered 1, 5, 2, 6, 4, 7, 3, 8. Chailly's recording of the Waltz 2 movement was used on the soundtrack to the 1999 Stanley Kubrick film Eyes Wide Shut, as the opening title and closing credit theme, as well as in the A&E Network series A Nero Wolfe Mystery (the episode "Champagne for One"). The Waltz 2 has also been used in advertisements for Sprint Nextel and Heineken.

It is thought that the Suite for Variety Orchestra must have been assembled by Shostakovich at least post-1956, because of the use of material from that year's music to the film The First Echelon. In fact, the greater part of the Suite for Variety Orchestra is recycled material:

  • The opening and closing movements (March and Finale) are based on the "March" from Korzinkina’s Adventures, Op. 59 (1940).
  • The second movement (Dance 1) was adapted from "The Market Place" (No. 16) from the film score for The Gadfly, Op. 97 (1955).
  • The third movement (Dance 2) goes back to "Invitation to a Rendezvous" (No. 20), from The Limpid Stream, Op. 39 (1934–35) [which itself was taken from "Mime and Dance of the Pope" (No. 19) from The Bolt, Op. 27 (1930–31)].
  • The seventh movement (Waltz 2) was adapted from the Waltz (eighth movement) from the Suite from 'The First Echelon', Op. 99a (1956).

Arrangements[edit]

Wind orchestra[edit]

  • by Johan de Meij (named "Jazz Suite No. 2" with movements 1, 5, 2 (in B flat), 3, 7 and 8, published by Amstel Music)
  • by Steven Walker (movements 1, 2 and 5)
  • by Norbert Studnitzky
  • by Gert Buitenhuis
  • by F. Laube
  • by Hans-Joachim Rogoll
  • by René Thévenaz
  • by Rainer Bostelmann
  • by André Waignein
  • by Jean-Pierre Bourquin
  • by James Curnow

Small orchestra[edit]

  • by Hans-Joachim Rogoll (1.1.1.2alto sax.2ten sax.bar sax – 0.3.3.0 – perc. guit. piano. acc. 3 violins. db)

Small symphonic orchestra[edit]

  • by Andre and Marjorie Rieu (Second Waltz)
  • by National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine; Conductor; Theodore Kuchar. (Complete work)

External links[edit]