Stalin Prize Russian Soviet Composer D. Shostakovich Signed Oratorio Score

Stalin Prize Russian Soviet Composer D. Shostakovich Signed Oratorio Score

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“The song of the Forest” (“The Song of the Woods”) Op.81 inscribed and signed by

D. Shostakovich. Score. State Music Publishers Moscow1962. Book sizeis10” x 13”. 144 pp.

“To dear Boris Yakovlevich Magalif in a good memory of our meeting in Minsk. March 17, 1963.”

Good condition, normal wear. Came from the family of Magalif. 

The Song of the Forests «Песнь о лесах», Op. 81, is an oratorio by Dmitri Shostakovich composed in the summer of 1949. It was written to celebrate the forestation of the Russian steppes following the end of World War II. Premiered by the Leningrad Philharmonic under Yevgeny Mravinsky on 15 December 1949, the work was well received by the government, earning the composer a Stalin Prize the following year.

The oratorio is notorious for lines praising Joseph Stalin as the "great gardener", although its later performances have normally omitted them.

Before the work's premiere, a friend of Shostakovich said to him, "It would be so good if instead of Stalin you had, say, the queen of the Netherlands—she's a big fan of reforestation. The composer replied, "That would be wonderful! I take responsibility for the music, but as for the words....

Ironically, the work glorified Stalin least of all. The fierce battles of World War II had deforested huge tracts of the Soviet Union and the concern for replacing and increasing forest land became a major issue in the immediate post-war years. This appeal for forestation was the core musical idea in the oratorio, with Stalin getting only a few pro forma phrases. These acknowledgements proved totally superfluous and were easily jettisoned after Stalin's death.  Nevertheless, heightening the irony was Shostakovich's receiving a Stalin Prize for the work.

Magalif Boris Yakovlevich born March 8, 1927 in Berlin, died on 28 December 2006. in Gorki, Belarus. The son of a repressed diplomat. Himself a prisoner of the Gulag from 1949 to 1955. He studied at the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography.  As an actor starred in the films "Young Guard", "The Story of a Real Man", "Rural Teacher" Private Alexander Matrosov", "The clock stopped at midnight", "Tales of the youth, "Spring Storm", "Flight of the country monsters", "Tsirkachonok", "Wedding Night, "Man does not give up" and others.  He graduated from the Belarusian conservatoire as a composer and teacher of music in schools. The poet and translator of song texts with many languages.

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