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Shostakovich - Concert N1 for cello and orchestra op. 107

Shostakovich - Concert №1 for cello and orchestra op. 107 . You can download the PDF sheet music Shostakovich - Concert №1 for cello and orchestra op. 107 on this page. This is the famous first cello Concert of Shostakovich in Rostropovich's cello part edition. The Cello Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major, Opus 107, was composed in 1959 by Dmitri Shostakovich. Shostakovich wrote the work for his friend Mstislav Rostropovich, who committed it to memory in four days and gave the premiere on October 4, 1959, with Yevgeny Mravinsky conducting the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra in the Large Hall of the Leningrad Conservatory.

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PDF format sheet music


Cello part: 22 pages. 4586 K


Piano part: 38 pages. 9073 K


Instrument part - First page Piano part - First page
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The first recording was made in two days following the premiere by Rostropovich and the Moscow Philharmonic, under the baton of Aleksandr Gauk.

The concerto is scored for solo cello, two flutes (2nd doubling piccolo), two oboes, two clarinets (each doubling B-flat and A), two bassoons (2nd doubling contrabassoon), one horn, timpani, celesta, and strings.

The work has four movements in two sections, with movements two through four played without a pause:

  • Allegretto
  • Moderato
  • Cadenza – Attacca
  • Allegro con moto

A typical performance runs approximately 28 minutes in length.

The first concerto is widely considered to be one of the most difficult concerted works for cello, along with the Sinfonia Concertante of Sergei Prokofiev, with which it shares certain features (such as the prominent role of isolated timpani strokes). Shostakovich said that "an impulse" for the piece was provided by his admiration for that earlier work.

The first movement begins with its four-note main theme derived from the composer's DSCH motif, although the intervals, rhythm and shape of the motto are continually distorted and re-shaped throughout the movement. It is also related to a theme from the composer's score for the 1948 film The Young Guard, which illustrates a group of Soviet soldiers being marched to their deaths at the hands of the Nazis. The theme reappears in Shostakovich's String Quartet No. 8 (1960). It is set beside an even simpler theme in the woodwind, which reappears throughout the work.

The composer began work on it in the spring and early in the summer the first movement was ready. In an interview to a Sovetskaya Kultura correspondent Dmitry Shostakovich said: "The major work in my immediate plans is a cello concerto; its first movement, an Allegretto in the nature of a scherzö-like march, is ready. I think the concerto will have three movements but I am at a loss to say anything definite about its content. Although such questions are natural and simple, I always find them very puzzling, for it often happens that in the process of writing the form, the expressive media and even the genre of a work undergo a marked change. All I can say about it is that the idea of the concerto came to me some time ago and that an impulse for it was provided by my acquaintance with Sergei Prokofiev's Concerto-Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra. I was greatly attracted by that work and decided to try my hand in this genre."1 We can see from this that originally the concerto was conceived as the usual three-movement cycle. The work was completed in July 1959. It seems that the composer arranged his concerto for cello and piano immediately upon completing the score, for it was in that form that it was presented at the USSR Composer's Club on September 21, 1959. Shostakovich's First Cello Concerto had its premiere at the Large Hall of the Leningrad Philharmonic on October 4, 1959. Its Moscow premiere took place at the Large Hall of the Conservatoire on October 9 of that year. Duration: approx. 29'. The piano score of the concerto was published by Muzgiz in 1960. The autograph piano score is preserved at the State Central Glinka Museum of Musical Culture (fond 32, bit of storage No. 73). The present publication, based on the edition which appeared in the Music, Moscow, 1975, has been collated with the autograph piano score, its 1960 edition and the full score published in 1961. The editor has also taken in account Shostakovich's notes on proof-sheets.

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