The Tale of the Priest and of His Workman Balda (film)

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The Tale of the Priest and of His Workman Balda is an extant Soviet animation feature film by Mikhail Tsekhanovsky based on the eponymous fairy tale in verse by Alexander Pushkin. The only surviving episode (4 mins) is called Bazar (Marketplace) ([1]).

A screenplay for the film was written in the 1930s by the director Mikhail Tsekhanovskiy. Work began in 1933. In the same year, the director contacted the young composer Dimitri Shostakovich and asked him to write music to accompany the film. Shostakovich wrote some music for the film in 1933-34 but never completed the score because of the 1936 denunciation of his work in the form of the Pravda article Muddle Instead of Music. Partially because the film now had no score, work on it was stopped and it was never completed. [2] Other reasons included production difficulties and a general lack of organization at the studio. Although the film was nearly finished, it was put into storage at the Lenfilm archives, where almost all of it was lost in a fire during the Second World War. [3] The 6-minute scene of the market from the tale is all that survives and it stands alone as a classic of Russian animated films. [4]

Music[edit]

After Shostakovich died, his widow arranged to have the score completed by one of Shostakovich's students, Vadim Bibergan. The world premiere recording of the 50-minute work was made by the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Thomas Sanderling and released in 2006, a century after Shostakovich's birth. [5]

The score was published in 2005, in volume 126 of DSCH Publishers' New Collected Works of Dmitri Shostakovich. [6] This publication contains text in Russian and English.

Surviving and restored parts (DSCH, 2005)[edit]

A number of items were found either in the original composer's handwriting or that of a copier's; eleven others were found only in rough draft form with missing parts or harmonies, and were restored by Vadim Bibergan.

Name Original Copied Draft
1. Overture Yes No
2. Bazaar. Introduction No Yes
3. Noisy Bazaar Yes No
4. First Carousel No No Yes
5. Balda's March No Yes
6. Dance of the Bell-Ringer Yes No
7. Second Carousel No Yes
8. Bear's Dance No Yes
9. Balda's Song No No Yes
10. Balda's Meeting with the Priest No Yes
11. Balda's Dialogue with the Priest No Yes
12. Finale of Part One (March) Yes No
13. The Village No Yes
14. Balda's First Job No No Yes
15. Priest Metropolitan. Tea-Drinking No Yes
16. Overture for a Party No No Yes
17. Lullaby No No Yes
18. Priest's Daughter's Dream No Yes
19. Waltz No No Yes
20. Balda's Second Job No Yes
21. Priest's Dance with the Devil No No Yes
22. Dance of Dead Men No No Yes
23. Procession of Ghouls No Yes
24. Balda's Dialogue with Old Devil Yes Yes
25. Balda's First Dialogue with Imp Yes Yes
26. Devil's Couplets No No Yes
27. Balda's Second Dialogue with Imp Yes Yes
28. Three Fillips No No Yes
29. Balda's Gallop No No Yes

Instrumentation[edit]

Winds[edit]

Note: "1+" means that two instruments are specified, but only one part is written for them both to play.

Part 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
Piccolo (2) - 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 - 1 1 1 1 1 1 - - - - 1 - 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2
Flute (2) - 2 2 2 1 - 2 2 - 2 - - 1 2 1 - - - - 1+ 1+ 1+ 2 1 1 1+ 1 2 2
Oboe (2) - 2 2 1 - - 1 2 - 2 2 2 - 2 2 2 1 - 2 - 2 2 2 - 2 2 - 2 2
English horn - - - - - - - - - 1 1 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 - - - -
Clarinet in Eb 1 1 1 1 1 1 - 1 - 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 - - 1 1 1 1 - 1 1 1 1 1 1
Clarinet in Bb (2) 2 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 - 2 2 - 1 2 2 2 2 - 2 1+ 2 1+ 2 1 2 2 1 2 2
Bass clarinet in Bb - - - 1 - - 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 - - - - - - - - -
Soprano sax in Bb (2) - - 1 - - 2 - - - - - - - - - 1 - - - - - 1+ - 1 - 1 - - -
Tenor sax in Bb - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 - - - - - - - - - - -
Bassoon (2) 1 1 - - 2 2 1 2 - 2 1 1 2 2 1 2 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Contrabassoon - 1 - - - - 1 1 - 1 - 1 - - - 1 - 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 - - 1 1
Horn in F (4) - 2 3 - 2 - - 4 - 2 2 - 2 4 2 4 1 - 3 4 4 2+ 2+ 2 2 4 2 2+ 3+
Trumpet in Bb (3) 2 3 3 - 2 2 - 3 - 1 1 1 2 2 2 1 - - - 2 1 3 2 2 2 3 2 2 2
Euphonium - 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Trombone (3) 1 2 1+ - 2 1 - 3 - 3 1 1 1 3 2 2+ - 1 1 3 1+ 3 3 1 1+ 3 2 3 3
Tuba 1 1 1 - 1 1 - 1 - 1 1 1 - 1 1 1 - - - 1 1 1 1 - - 1 - 1 1

Strings[edit]

Note: the exact number of violin/viola/cello/contrabass players is not indicated, except in pieces where only one instrument is to play.

Part 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 181 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
Violins I & II - - - - - - - + - - - - - + - - + + + + + + + - + + - - +
Viola - - - - - - - + - - - - - + - - + + + + + + + - - + - - +
Cello - + - - - - - + - + - - - + - - + + + + + + + - - + - + +
Contrabass 1 + - - - + - + - + - - - + - - + + + + + + + - - + - + +
Harp - - 1 1 - 1 - - - - - - - - - 1 1 - 1 1 - 1 1 1 1 - 1 - -
Russian guitar - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 - - - - - - - - - - -
Balalaika - - - - - - - - 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

1The violin, viola, cello and contrabass parts are only present for one loud chord at the end of the piece.

Keyboards and tuned percussion[edit]

Part 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
Timpani 1 1 1 - 1 - - 1 - - - - 1 1 - - - - - - - 1 1 1 1 - 1 - 1
Glockenspiel - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Xylophone - 1 1 - 1 - - 1 - 1 1 - 1 1 - - - 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 - 1 - 1
Chimes - - 1 - - 1 - - - - - - 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Accordion - - 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Other percussion[edit]

Names in italics are in their original Italian.

Part 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
Triangle - - 1 - - - - 1 - - - - - 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Whistle - - 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Vetro (Glass) - - 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Wood block (2) - 1 1 - - - - - - 1 1 1 1 - - - - 1 1 1 - 2 - 1 1 - 1 - -
Raganella - - 1 - - - - - - - - - 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Whip - - 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Pistola - - 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Tambourine - - 1 - - - - 1 - - - - 1 - - - - - - - - - - - 1 - - - -
Tamburo - - 1 - 1 - - - - - - 1 1 1 - - - - 1 1 - 1 - - - - - 1 1
Suspended cymbal - - 1 - 1 - - 1 - - - 1 - - 1 - - - - 1 - - 1 - - - 1 1 -
Crash cymbal - - - - - - - 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1 - - - - - - -
Cassa - 1 1 - - - - 1 - - - - - - 1 - - - - - - 1 - - - - 1 1 -

Voices[edit]

Note: the exact number of choralists is mostly not indicated; "2+" means that there are at least two harmonic lines somewhere in a part, or at least 2 voices are specifically called for.

Part 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
Narrator (child's voice (boy)) - - - - - - - - - + - - - - - - - - - - - - - + + - + - -
Balda (bass) - - - - - - - - + - + - - - - - + + - - - - - + + - + - -
Priest (2 voices: tenor and bass) - - - - - - - - + - + - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Priest's Wife (bass) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - + - - - - - - - - - - - -
Priest's Daughter (soprano) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - + - - - - - - - - - - - -
Old Demon (2 voices: mezzo-soprano and bass) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - + - - - - -
Imp (descant) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - + - + - -
Devil/Chyort (bass-baritone) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - + - - -
Chorus (sopranos) - - 4+ - - - - - - - + 1+ + + - - - - - - - - - - + - - - -
Chorus (altos) - - 1+ - - - - - - - + - + + - - - - - - - - - - + - - - -
Chorus (tenors) - - 9+ - - - - - - - + 1+ + - - - - - - - - - - - + - - - -
Chorus (basses) - - 5+ - - - - - - - + 2+ + - - - - - - - - - - - 2+ - - - -

External links[edit]