Notes 60.1 (2003) 178-180
[Access article in PDF]
Dmitri Shostakovich: A Catalogue, Bibliography, and Discography. By Derek C. Hulme. 3d ed. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2002. [xvi, 701 p. ISBN 0-8108-4432-X. $85.] Indexes.
From its initial appearance in 1982 (private publication in Scotland) to its second edition in 1991 (Oxford's Clarendon Press) and its present incarnation, Derek Hulme's catalog has come a long way. The new edition exceeds the previous one by more than two hundred pages. Happily, it is sturdier than its predecessor, and its sewn binding and page headers make it considerably easier to peruse. It is also less expensive. The format, however, has remained basically the same from the outset: a chronological listing of works, bibliography, and several appendices and indexes of names and of compositions. The discography remains the strongest feature of Hulme's catalog. The huge increase in recordings released since the previous edition accounts for the lion's share of its expanded size. It is a fair indication of the explosion in popularity enjoyed by the composer's music.
This has always been a very personal enterprise. Hulme devised his own system of "Sans op." designations for the works without opus numbers. Resisting common usage, he even devised his own set of abbreviations. In this post-Soviet edition of the catalog he has managed to invent a new institution, the "Central State Archives of Literature and Art of the CIS (formerly USSR), Moscow" (p. xv). The institution he means is now generally known as the Russian State Archive of Literature and Art (RGALI), but he routinely misidentifies this and other post-Soviet appellations.
Inevitably, far fewer publications than recordings of Shostakovich's music have appeared since the previous edition. Here the compiler has been less successful in bringing his catalog up to date. The most active publisher has been a new one, DSCH, founded in 1993 in Moscow by the composer's widow. As Hulme notes in appendix 1 (p. 538), DSCH embarked in 1999 on the ambitious project of a New Collected Works in one hundred and fifty volumes, to include first publications of many works. Concurrently, however, DSCH has been actively releasing practical performing editions of the composer's music. Hulme had [End Page 178] access to DSCH's 1999 catalog, so it is a shame that he overlooked its editions of the two Piano Sonatas opp. 12 and 61, published in 1998 and 1999; the Violin Sonata op. 134 (1997); the Viola Sonata op. 147 (1997); the full score of "Romance" from The Gadfly, op. 97 (1997); and the handsome reprint edition of the 1935 piano-vocal score of Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, op. 29, in 1998. Many more volumes have become available since Hulme's cutoff date.
Hulme has corrected many of the errors in his previous editions, especially in dating. Although many problems remain, this is because his research has been based on secondary and predominantly non-Russian sources. While updated and expanded for this edition, his bibliography is woefully inadequate in its listing of Russian publications, which have increased significantly in both number and quality. In a catalog devoted to a Russian composer, this is a considerable drawback.
One feels reasonably confident that Hulme's listing of British Broadcasting Company (BBC) broadcasts, both radio and television, is exhaustive. Further from home, however, the coverage becomes less so. What Hulme identifies in his postscript (p. 582) as a "film" of Gogol's short story The Overcoat mimed to Shostakovich's music was actually a critically acclaimed theatrical production directed by Morris Panych at the Vancouver Playhouse in 1997, a production that toured Canada in 2000 before being filmed for television, broadcast on Canadian Broadcasting Company's "Opening Night" (on 10 January 2002), and released on compact disc (soundtrack, CBC Records SMCD 5216).
A more lamentable oversight (p. 132) is that of the Bolshoi Ballet production of Balda, premiered in Moscow on 6 June 1999, using music Shostakovich composed for an unfinished animated feature film in the 1930s, The Tale of the Priest and His Worker, Blockhead...