Cookie Control

We use cookies to improve the use of our website, our products and services, and confirm your login authorization or initial creation of account. By clicking "Ok" or by continuing to use our website, you agree to cookies being set on your device as explained in our Privacy Policy. You may disable the use of cookies if you do not wish to accept them, however, this may limit the website’s overall functionality.
Ok – I'm happy to proceed

SHOSTAKOVICH: The Fall of Berlin / The Unforgettable Year 1919 Suite

Shipping time: In stock | Expected delivery 1-2 days | Free UK Delivery
Dmitry Shostakovich (1906-1975)
The Fall of Berlin
Complete Film Score, Op. 82 (1949)
Edited 1996 by Adriano (premi?¿re recording)
The Unforgettable Year 1919
Suite, Op. 89a (1951)
Edited 1954 by Levon Atovmyan (first complete recording)   Shostakovich's Film Music Dmitry Shostakovich (DSCH) composed about 35 filmscores. This is quite remarkable, out of a total quantity of 147 numbered works. These were written between 1929 and 1970, which means about one a year. A dozen have been extracted or arranged as concert suites and were already recorded on LPs during the mono and stereo eras of Melodiya, and were occasionally licensed on American and European labels. Suites or fragments of Zoya (1944), Michurin (1948), The Gadfly (1955) and Hamlet (1963) had also become known in international concert repertoire, together with his symphonies, concertos and chamber music. His score for Leonid Trauberg's silent masterpiece New Babylon (1929) was relaunched in Paris in a performance with a live orchestra in 1975, conducted by Marius Constant, on a date which can be considered a memorable one in the history of silent film music. For a young man of 23, this mordant score was already a significant achievement, but by then he had already written his first three symphonies, a chamber opera (The Nose) and over ten chamber and piano works. He had started as a young and underpaid pianist in a Leningrad silent cinema, which was actually the ideal ambiance to learn how to write for the movies. Silent cinema's purely improvisatory or last-minute way of scoring/arranging technique was the best training for a musician's intuition or sense of drama. It is well-known that many of Shostakovich's film scores were not well received by Russian cultural apparatchiks, but to him it was much more difficult to overcome harsh criticism of his more important works. Some forty years of film music composing within 56 turbulent years as a composer of symphonies, string quartets, operas and song cycles which have all become world famous, may have taken second place. Considering his film scores as a whole, it may be seen that his earlier works reflect more pleasure in the experimental than his later ones do, and this not only in comparison with the greatly inferior musical level of his fellow composers from contemporary Hollywood. Particularly notable is the fact that Shostakovich had found a way to integrate his straightforward lyricism and sardonic language with film music, whether in scoring such simple pieces as a waltz, a polka, a galop, a song or a short interlude. In other words, his complete personality is omnipresent in his film music as well, making it a valuable inheritance of Russia's culture, besides the achievements by other composers such as Sergey Prokofiev, Aram Khachaturian, Mieczyslaw Weinberg and Dimitry Kabalevsky, who also worked for the film industry with excellent results. The Fall of Berlin - The film The Fall of Berlin (Padeniye Berlina) is a monumental two-part Mosfilm colour production of 1949 and 1950, directed by Michail Chiaureli and based on a script by Chiaureli and Pyotr Andreyevich Pavlenko (1899-1951), a famous writer who had also collaborated with Sergey Eisenstein on his script for Alexander Nevsky. Together with Battle of Stalingrad (1949, with music by Aram Khachaturian), it belongs to the genre of Soviet film from the Stalin period known as "artistic documentaries", intended to impress and instruct the masses like written history and, as was usual, to present a historical truth in an often forged or re-invented form, for propaganda purposes. A particularly hilarious example in Chiaureli's film is its pompous finale, in which Stalin is seen arriving at Berlin airport to congratulate his troops and the Allies, to deliver a speech to thousands of people, not from a tribune, but from the ground, and this without even a microphone - Stalin who had always categorically refused to travel to Germany during the War. The dictator, in any case, had total control over the films he approved and, as Shostakovich points out in his memoirs, "he had his own projection room at the Kremlin, and he watched films at night. That was work for him and he worked, like all criminals, at night". A typical contemporary pamphlet says of this film that "it is a moving picture in which great feelings of patriotism are assembled in an epic of the people's common struggle for freedom, independence and for the happiness ... through realistic and faithful pictures, in which Soviet Man is shown in his unfailing union with the great Leader of the People". The historical subject of the script is enriched by a conventional and dramatic love story, in order to interest the viewer. From its technical aspect, its incredible luxury of effects and well-staged mass-scenes, this picture can compete with many contemporary Hollywood productions, leaving aside the still difficult times in which it was produced. Like Hitler, Stalin had found in cinema the best propaganda mass-media, and therefore provided that Mosfilm Studios were not to suffer under any budget limitations. As was the case in Berlin's Babelsberg studios, particular care had to be taken that in scenes dealing with banquets or meals, plates were to be filled with fake food. June 1941: Alyosha, a young steel-founder, is in love with Natasha, a school-teacher. Too shy, he does not show her his feelings, thinking she is in love with a more attractive concert pianist. At a personal meeting with Stalin in the latter's garden, after having been congratulated for his good work, Alyosha is encouraged by Stalin himself to declare his love and marry her. Unfortunately, during their first meeting in a cornfield, the two lovers are interrupted by the first attack of the Germans and separated. Eventually, Natasha ends up in a concentration camp. Alyosha and his two friends Kostya and Yussuf fight in Moscow and Stalingrad and, finally, in Berlin. It is the mortally wounded Yussuf who tries first to hoist his bloodstained handkerchief on the roof of the Reichstag, before the official Red Flag. It is well-known that this historical scene, celebrated by press photos at the time, was revealed afterwards as faked, since it had been necessary to restage it afterwards under better visibility conditions. The omnipresent Stalin, played by M. Gelovani, is seen in the film as an amateur gardener and the owner of a huge park (the cue title modestly calls it a "garden") and, as often, as leaning over maps before giving orders, or brainstorming with his staff. This is also the case with Hitler, played by Vladimir Savelyev, whose hysterical fits create some chaplinesque episodes. During his last Bunker days, the F??hrer marries Eva Braun and the ceremony is accompanied by Mendelssohn's Wedding March, shortly after he has given orders to flood Berlin's underground stations filled with people sheltering from the bombing. Goehring, who owns a decadent villa filled from top to bottom with stolen works of art, and Goebbels, Roosevelt and Churchill are other dramatis personae, besides, of course, Russian historical personalities such as Marshal Zhukov and Malenkov, Stalin's secretary, and others. The storming of the Reichstag, during which Alyosha's two friends are killed, has an immediate consequence in general dancing and music-making of the Russians and the Allies in Berlin's streets, preceding Stalin's triumphal arrival from the skies. Now it is also the right time for Alyosha and Natasha to find each other again. The first part of the film, lasting seventy minutes, ends with Stalin meeting Roosevelt and Churchill at the Yalta Conference. The second part is 75 minutes long and is, from the filmic point of
Disc: 1
The Unforgettable Year 1919 Suite, Op. 89a (ed. L.
1 I. Main Title Part 1
2 II. Beautiful day
3 III. Alyosha by the river
4 IV. Stalin's garden
5 V. Alyosha and Natalia in the fields - Attack
6 VI. Hitler's reception
7 VII. In the devastated village
8 VIII. Forward!
9 IX. Main Title Part 2
10 X. The roll call - Attack at night
11 XI. Storming Seelov Heights (Zielona Gora)
12 XII. The flooding of the underground station
13 XIII. The final battle for the Reichstag - Kostya'
14 XIV. Yussuf's death - The Red Banner
15 XV. Stalin at Berlin Airport
16 XVI. Finale: Stalin's speech - Alyosha and Natasha
17 I. Introduction
18 II. Romance (Meeting of Shibayev with Katya)
19 III. Scene from the Sea Battle
20 IV. Scherzo
21 V. The Assault on the Red Hill, "Assault on Beauti
22 VI. Intermezzo
23 VII. Finale
Write your own review
You must log in to be able to write a review
If you like SHOSTAKOVICH: The Fall of Berlin / The Unforgettable Year 1919 Suite, please tell your friends! You can easily share this page directly on Facebook, Twitter and via e-mail below.

You may also like.....

BRIAN: Symphony No. 2 / Festival Fanfare
AURIC: La Belle et la Bete
Sauguet - Symphony No 2
GLAZUNOV: The King of the Jews 8553575 01/01/2000 £7.99
Few in stock Buy +
SCRIABIN: Symphony No. 1 / Reverie, Op. 24 / Poemes, Op. 32 8553580 12/01/1999 £7.99
Few in stock Buy +
TCHAIKOVSKY: The Snow Maiden, Op. 12 8553856 12/01/1999 £7.99
Few in stock Buy +
KHACHATURIAN: Piano Concerto / Concert Rhapsody 8550799 12/01/1999 £7.99
Few in stock Buy +
KHACHATURIAN: Spartacus, Suite No. 4 / Masquerade / Circus 8550802 12/01/1999 £7.99
Few in stock Buy +
Image Image
My account
My cart: 0 items