• ‘I begin writing, and then have second thoughts’: Shostakovich and the Sketches for the Eighth Symphony
English Abstract

Shostakovich’s sketch materials for Symphony No. 8 have recently come to light in his archives in Moscow. They are piano score drafts that prefigure most of the details of the final work, yet amidst their pristine state of preparation, they contain a striking anomaly: two complete versions of the second movement that differ in their central section and that indicate a radical rethinking of the movement, even the entire symphony, at a near final stage of composition. This article traces the Eighth Symphony through Shostakovich’s manuscripts and suggests both why Shostakovich rewrote the second movement and how his two versions illuminate expressive ideas in the symphony as a whole. By tracking his creative process, these manuscripts allow us to probe the compositional endeavor and aesthetic framework that shaped Shostakovich’s thought and made this symphony, in his eyes, seminal to his creative output.

French Abstract

Des ébauches de la 8e symphonie de Chostakovitch ont été découverts récemment dans ses archives à Moscou. Il s’agit de réductions pour piano qui annoncent les détails de l’oeuvre finale. Pourtant, on constate une anomalie significative: deux versions du second mouvement, qui diffèrent dans leur partie centrale, et indiquent que le mouvement et la symphonie elle-même ont été entièrement repensés, alors que la composition était proche du stade final. Cet article suit la trace de la 8e symphonie à travers les manuscrits de Chostakovitch, et amène des éléments de réponses sur les raisons qui font que le compositeur ait réécrit le second mouvement, ainsi que sur la manière dont ses deux versions illuminent les idées expressives de l’oeuvre dans son intégralité. En suivant le processus créatif, ces manuscrits nous permettent d’explorer les facettes compositionnelles et la structure esthétique qui forment la pensée de Chostakovitch. Et ce qui fait qu’à ses yeux, elle représente un monument au sein de sa production.

German Abstract

Erst kürzlich wurden Schostakowitschs Entwürfe für die 8. Symphonie in dessen Archiv in Moskau entdeckt. Dabei handelt es sich um Skizzen für Klavier, die bereits die meisten Charakteristika des abgeschlossenen Werkes enthalten. Und doch findet sich in ihrem ursprünglichen Vorbereitungsstand eine bemerkenswerte Anomalie: zwei komplette Versionen des zweiten Satzes, die sich in der zentralen Passage unterscheiden, offenbaren ein radikales Überdenken nicht nur des Satzes, sondern der kompletten Symphonie - und dies zu einem Zeitpunkt, an dem die Fertigstellung der Komposition nahe ist. Dieser Aufsatz verfolgt den Entstehungsprozess von Schostakowitschs 8. Symphonie und legt nahe, warum Schostakowitsch den zweiten Satz umschrieb und wie die zwei Versionen seine Ausdruckskraft in der Symphonie als Ganzes erhellen. Die Manuskripte erlauben uns - durch die Verfolgung des Schaffensprozesses - den kompositorischen Prozess und die ästhetische Struktur zu untersuchen, die Schostakowitschs musikalische Denkweise geformt haben und diese Symphonie - aus seiner Perspektive - wegweisend für sein Werk gemacht haben.

Photographs from the summer of 1943 show Dmitri Shostakovich absorbed in a new work: his Eighth Symphony.1 In one image (Frame 69), reproduced in Olga Dombrovskaya’s catalogue of pictures, he carries a large manuscript—almost certainly the symphony or sketches for it—while strolling with his children through Ivanovo, the composers’ retreat near Moscow where he wrote much of the work in August that year. In another picture (Frame 73), he sits at his office desk in Ivanovo, poring over his manuscript for the Eighth, while light from a doorway and window at his left encircles his bent head with a halo. Immediately below this image of the ‘inspired’ composer, a close-up shot shows his two tiny children, Maxim and Galina, outside the same office window (Frame 74); Galina studies pebbles in her hands while Maxim stares intently at something inside. The picture of the children in the window below that of their father at work inside invites the viewer to imagine Shostakovich somewhere beyond the camera, working on the Eighth Symphony, a haloed genius who must not be disturbed. Whether posed (as Frame 73 clearly is) or candid (as Frames 69 and 74 are meant to appear), the photographs leave the impression that the Eighth Symphony held special importance for Shostakovich and he could not be parted from it.

Indeed, Shostakovich loved the Eighth and a sense of its significance never left him. Until the end of his life, he pointed to it as the large-scale work that he had composed with greatest speed and facility2—in short, a work that demonstrated the height of his creative powers. Isaak Glikman, the composer’s friend and secretary, also recorded Shostakovich’s affection for the Eighth and high estimation of its merits.3 According to entries in [End Page 1] Glikman’s private diary, Shostakovich called the symphony his ‘favorite’ work and considered it to be ‘a close relative of the Fifth Symphony, even the closest’, while he lamented its failure to attract the kind of attention and homage accorded to that earlier work4. Government condemnation in 1948, five years after the symphony’s premiere, accounted for its temporary withdrawal from performances in the Soviet Union. But that condemnation was rescinded the following year, and still, Shostakovich observed a decade later, the Eighth was performed ‘very, very rarely’5. As Shostakovich lamented, the Eighth Symphony never achieved the popularity of much of his other music; and despite its significance to him, it received little sustained attention from anyone else.

In the early 2000s, however, a set of sketch materials for the Eighth Symphony surfaced in Shostakovich’s archives in Moscow and began to offer new possibilities for examining this work. We do not know when the documents entered the archive or who deposited them; but in 2014, the Dmitri Shostakovich Archive made facsimiles of some of the manuscripts and published the excerpts in volume 23 of the New Collected Works edition of the composer’s music6. While the reproductions offer glimpses into the nature of the documents, it is difficult to understand the manuscripts from this alone; the present discussion is based on an examination of all the original manuscripts (known to date) for the symphony. These documents provide remarkable insights into the genesis of the Eighth Symphony, the composer’s process in writing it, and his creation and preservation of sketches for it.

Shostakovich’s sketch materials for Symphony No. 8 are piano score drafts that prefigure most of the details of the final work7. They are organised, systematic, and coherent, presenting a complete, clean copy of the symphony, with numbered sketch pages and labelled movements. Yet amidst their pristine state of preparation, they contain a striking anomaly: two complete versions of the second movement that differ in their central section and that indicate a radical rethinking of the movement, even the entire symphony, at a near final stage of composition. In their detail and orderliness—even their preservation of ideas later discarded—Shostakovich’s sketch materials for the Eighth Symphony attest to his special pride in and care of the work. They look more like a piano score copy of the symphony than compositional manuscripts for it, and were it not for the revised and rewritten second movement, there would be little essential difference (except scoring) between the manuscripts and the autograph score. These sketches formed a private, working document, but their detail and sequence of music speak to a sophistication that belied compositional necessity.

My article takes up these documents in an effort to illuminate the genesis of the Eighth Symphony and to provide evidence for understanding Shostakovich’s creative process in this work. The pristine quality of the final sketches, juxtaposed against evolving ideas for the second movement, is the heart of this investigation. I trace the Eighth Symphony—in [End Page 2] particular, its second movement—through Shostakovich’s manuscripts, and suggest both why he rewrote the movement and how his versions of its central section illuminate expressive ideas in the symphony as a whole. By tracking his creative process, these manuscripts allow us to probe the compositional endeavor and aesthetic framework that shaped Shostakovich’s thought and made this symphony, in his eyes, seminal to his creative output.

The Manuscripts

Shostakovich’s manuscripts for the Eighth Symphony are preserved in three archives in Moscow—the Russian State Archive of Literature and Art (RGALI), the Glinka Museum of Musical Culture, and the Dmitri Shostakovich Archive. The documents are extremely varied; and in addition to the piano score drafts (klavier, eskizï in Russian) mentioned above, they also include excised orchestral material (partitura, otrïvki) that contains partial holographic scores,8 a thematic list9, a fragment of an eight-hand transcription10, proof-sheets for publication11, and the final autograph score12. The piano score drafts, excised material, fragment of transcription, and final autograph are in RGALI; the proof-sheets and thematic list, in the Glinka Museum; and facsimiles of all these manuscripts, in the Dmitri Shostakovich Archive. Among these documents, the most interesting are the sketches, or eskizï, which trace the symphony’s formulation in a late compositional stage to its completion in final score, and illuminate Shostakovich’s compositional methods (and motivations) in writing the work. Most strikingly, they contain the two versions of the second movement and shed light on its role in relation to the Eighth Symphony as a whole. Since the physical nature and placement of the second-movement manuscripts are unique within the eskizï, it is helpful first to describe the entire file of manuscript sketches before turning to the second movement itself.

The eskizï for the Eighth Symphony comprise twenty-six pages of drafts in piano score13, written entirely in Shostakovich’s hand on three types of paper14. The pages are [End Page 3] grouped together in what can best be described as three folios; none of the pages are loose leaves (a fact that leaves no doubt about sequence and ordering). Closely composed from top to bottom with rarely a skipped line or empty space, the sketch pages are written in black ink and have numerous accessory markings in red, green, blue, or black pencil. The notation is clean and coherent, with occasional marginalia showing shorthand notes about the music and some information unrelated to the music. The entire Eighth Symphony is present, along with some additional music, some of which is related to the Eighth and some of which is not. These documents show the shape, content, and most of the detail of the piece, and represent a stage of composition in which refinement is almost complete, very nearly duplicating (for piano) the final autograph.

Given this comprehensiveness, a word about terminology is necessary. The Russian term eskiz translates into English as ‘sketch’, but when applied (in Russian) to Shostakovich’s manuscripts, the word does not denote sketch type or stage of composition. Rather, it is a broad term sometimes used for anything before a final score, sometimes exchanged for other terms, and sometimes explicitly defined as a near-final entity, a meaning opposite to that of its English-language equivalent. In relation to the Eighth Symphony, the disjunction between Russian and English implications of eskiz, or sketch, is significant. Nevertheless, I use eskiz (pl. eskizï) because it is consistent with Russian usage and with the archival term that distinguishes the Eighth’s piano score drafts from other miscellaneous (and sometimes erroneously labeled) manuscripts.

The eskizï of Symphony No. 8 contain six complete movements—drafts of the symphony’s five known movements (hereinafter designated Drafts I, IIB, III, IV, and V), and an early, complete version (hereinafter Draft IIA) of Movement II. Moreover, two revisions of the early second movement (hereinafter Revisions A and B) also appear in the file, as does a copy of Shostakovich’s proposal for a new national anthem, written for a competition in the summer of 1943 (the only extraneous music in the file)15. Table 1 lays out the content and sequence of the eskizï, which are paginated in two ways, once by Shostakovich, who passed over Draft IIA in his numbering16, and once by an archivist, who numbered every page, except the first. Shostakovich’s pagination is given in plain text and, where applicable, archival numbering in square brackets.

From the arrangement, content, and dates of the manuscripts, we know that Shostakovich wrote the piano score drafts in the finished order of movements—Draft I, Draft IIA, Revisions A and B (of Draft IIA), Draft IIB, Draft III, Draft IV, the national anthem, and Draft V. The drafts show almost every note, as well as some instrumentation, time signatures, and meter changes, even intricacies of counterpoint and rhythm. Moreover, Shostakovich crossed out with large red X’s the parts of the eskizï that did not match the final score—namely, Draft IIA and Revisions A and B.

Draft I (for Movement I) is representative of the file. Its first two pages prefigure Figs. 1–24 of the final autograph almost note for note. Page 3 corresponds to Figs. 24–33+10; page 4 continues from Fig. 33+11 to Fig. 45+4 and page 5 contains the last two measures of Movement I, Fig. 45+5–6. Every measure, every part, and extraordinary detail are present, [End Page 4]

Table 1. The Eskizï of Symphony No. 8
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Table 1.

The Eskizï of Symphony No. 8

[End Page 5]

the meticulousness of the draft indicating a command of its minutest elements. In a few instances, as at the end of Draft III, Shostakovich minimally outlined some passages in a kind of shorthand that shows primary musical events—such as melody and harmonic changes, but not specifics of texture or rhythm—no doubt anticipating that he would fill out the details in the final autograph19. With a score, it is easy to follow even these parts. Everything about these piano score drafts attests to a near-final compositional stage and indicates the composer’s speed and detail in writing out the symphony.

Shostakovich composed the Eighth in a little over two months. His earliest sketch bears the date 2 July 1943; the final score, 9 September of the same year. The overall impression is that his eskizï are a polished draft and copy of the Eighth Symphony, written immediately before the scoring of the final autograph and reflecting a significant anterior process, written or not, in which the shape, structure, and detail of the symphony had been fully refined. In one instance only—the second movement—some thoughts were not altogether secure. It is to this music that we now turn as we examine Shostakovich’s discarded version of and revisions to the movement, and offer some ideas of why he rewrote it.

Shostakovich’s Two Versions of Movement II

Between 29 July and 17 August 1943, Shostakovich drafted two complete versions of the Eighth Symphony’s second movement, revising parts of the first draft as he modified it into the second. In doing so, he transformed the central section of the second movement from a reflective, concertante-like episode for solo piano into a passage featuring more austere, angular melodies for solo woodwinds. His two versions of the movement thus differed in instrumentation and expressive resources. His first version, with piano, fit into a recurrent type of expression in the symphony in which long-breathed melodies and interludes appear regularly (as in Movements I, IV, and V), and sometimes interrupt or intrude into other passages to produce strong contrasts of expression. His second version paralleled the scherzo idiom of Movement II itself and reflected the symphony’s broad preoccupation with solo woodwind sonorities. This change in musical content and instrumentation altered the second movement’s expression and relation to the symphony as a whole. What was notably absent in the final version of the movement was any hint of reflective interlude, which had been the centerpiece of the initial idea.

Six compositional manuscripts exist for the second movement (fig. 1a and 1b). Shostakovich’s two complete drafts of the movement (Drafts IIA and IIB) are both in tripartite reprise form20; differences between the drafts lie in the B section21. Two revisions of large sections of Draft IIA comprise, respectively, revisions of the B section (Revision A) and its reprise (Revision B). Moreover, two orchestrations, one partial and the other complete, include an unfinished scoring of Draft IIA, hereinafter Score IIA22, and a complete orchestration of Draft IIB, which is Movement II in the final autograph of the symphony.

These manuscripts show that Shostakovich began the second movement as Draft IIA on 29 July 1943, while he was still orchestrating the first movement of Symphony No. 8. [End Page 6] Over the next three weeks, he completed the first draft of the second movement (Draft IIA) and orchestrated almost half of it (Score IIA), but then revised two large sections (Revisions A and B), wrote a new piano score draft incorporating his revisions (Draft IIB), and orchestrated the new draft as Movement II of the Eighth Symphony.

Fig. 1a. Shostakovich’s Six Manuscripts for Movement II in Three Stages: Version 1, Revision, and Version 2.
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Fig. 1a.

Shostakovich’s Six Manuscripts for Movement II in Three Stages: Version 1, Revision, and Version 2.

Fig. 1b. Shostakovich’s Six Manuscripts for Movement II as Types (Drafts, Revisions, Scores).
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Fig. 1b.

Shostakovich’s Six Manuscripts for Movement II as Types (Drafts, Revisions, Scores).

The state of the manuscripts suggests that Shostakovich’s revisions arose from a late reconsideration of the second movement’s purpose and place within the Eighth Symphony. As evidence of this fact, the manuscripts indicate no compositional or conceptual problems in working out the movement; Shostakovich does not seem to have written it with the idea of revising it. Rather, Draft IIA is a polished piano score draft showing all the details of the movement and predating a corollary score (Score IIA) by a matter of days. Shostakovich’s revisions, however, trace his new conception of the movement; and his next complete version, Draft IIB, anticipates the final autograph exactly (in piano score). Drafts IIA and IIB are the only examples among the manuscripts for the Eighth Symphony—indeed, among Shostakovich’s symphonic sketch materials available to date—that comprise two clear, complete, and distinct variants of the same movement. They not only show us what Shostakovich changed from one version to the next, but also allow us to assess each version in relation to the symphony as a whole.

It is possible to trace Shostakovich’s changes to the second movement by describing his manuscripts in relation to the autograph score. Movement II is a scherzo of 250 measures and is graphed in figure 2. Measure numbers in the graph refer to the autograph score, but formal structure and harmonic areas are the same in Shostakovich’s two versions of the movement. As a result, subsequent references to formal structures in Draft IIA or IIB can also be understood in light of figure 2.

Shostakovich’s revisions of the second movement have to do with the B section, beginning at m. 67 in the score, elaborated briefly in development (mm. 127–41), and [End Page 7] reprised at m. 187. In Draft IIA, the B section is eighty measures, and the reprise of B is fifty-one measures—considerably longer than this section in the final version, where B (as fig. 2 shows) is thirty-five measures and its reprise is thirty measures. From Draft IIA to the movement’s final form in the autograph score, Shostakovich either modified or wholly rewrote the B section in each of its appearances—statement, development, and reprise—by shortening it and altering its melodic content and instrumentation. Through these changes, he transformed the movement from a lively march interrupted by an episode of expressive outpouring into a homogenous march and trio in scherzo idiom.

Fig. 2. Formal and Harmonic Divisions in Movement II of Symphony No. 8.
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Fig. 2.

Formal and Harmonic Divisions in Movement II of Symphony No. 8.

Ex. 1. Draft IIA, piano score transcription of the first half of the B section. (The author’s transcription and references to instrumentation are based on Score IIA, as reproduced in Dmitri Shostakovich, New Collected Works, ed. Manashir Iakubov, vol. 8 [Moscow, 2009].)
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Ex. 1.

Draft IIA, piano score transcription of the first half of the B section. (The author’s transcription and references to instrumentation are based on Score IIA, as reproduced in Dmitri Shostakovich, New Collected Works, ed. Manashir Iakubov, vol. 8 [Moscow, 2009].)

The following discussion deals primarily with the B section at m. 67ff, rather than the reprise of B23, for a number of reasons. Shostakovich’s decisions about the B section came [End Page 8] first chronologically and were more important musically than those for the reprise; they necessitated musical adjustments in the latter, but not a reconception on the scale traceable in the B section itself. Moreover, the changes and decisions that we can trace in the B section (for example, instrumentation) are not as clear in the reprise because there are not as many manuscripts for the latter. It is in the B section at m. 67ff, then, that we find Shostakovich’s new ideas for the music and their implications for the second movement.

Example 2. Movement II, B section (mm. 67–77). (Dmitri Shostakovich, Op. 65, Symphony No. 8 [Hamburg, 1946].)
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Example 2.

Movement II, B section (mm. 67–77). (Dmitri Shostakovich, Op. 65, Symphony No. 8 [Hamburg, 1946].)

Shostakovich’s manuscripts show three compositional stages for the B section. The first stage comprises Draft IIA and Score IIA, in which the B section prefigures nothing of the final score except the texture. The second stage is Revision A, a revision of the B section only, in which melody and instrumentation (though not accompaniment) foreshadow the final autograph; and the third stage is Draft IIB, which matches Movement II in the autograph score (see fig. 1a).

Example 1is a piano transcription of the first half of the B section from Draft IIA. In Shostakovich’s partial orchestration of the draft, this passage is scored for solo piano over sustained string chords24.

Example 2 shows the opening of the B section from Movement II (mm. 67–77). [End Page 9]

Comparison reveals few similarities apart from texture, namely, a solo instrument over reduced strings. In Draft IIA, the solo part is for pianoforte; in Movement II, the soloist is the piccolo flute. A piano is not included in the instrumentation of the Eighth Symphony, and so its inclusion in the first version of Movement II creates some disjunction, or special expression, within the symphony as a whole. The passage in Draft IIA is an interruption or incursion of lyrical music that arrests the forward momentum of the scherzo and interposes reflection in its place.

Unusual here is the style of the piano music, which is lengthy and meandering, in addition to its location in the B section of a scherzo. The passage creates a stark contrast within the movement’s timbral scheme as a whole, and for that matter, with the piano parts in other Shostakovich symphonies, where solo moments are brief and the piano either adopts a scherzo idiom (Symphony No. 1/II), displays frenetic runs and bright coloration (Symphonies Nos. 1/IV or 5/III), or assumes a percussive role (Symphony Nos. 1/II, 5/I, and 5/IV)25. Nowhere else in his symphonies does Shostakovich engage the piano in a solo lyrical mode, and nowhere else does the instrument convey the type of poignant expression found in Draft IIA.

The piano solo in Draft IIA opens in A minor (see ex. 1). Over broken-chord accompaniment in the left hand and sustained string chords, the right-hand line starts with an octave leap down from a high E, followed by high repeated notes and a turn, a leap to mid-register, and an ascending scale to B-flat. The repeated notes and turn sound once more over an embellishing minor subdominant chord before the music returns to A minor. A motif of descending thirds enters in the flutes (m. 78), after which the piano picks up the scalar figure from mm. 62–65 and moves to G minor for a restatement of mm. 70–78, now a minor third lower and followed by winding elaboration26. Nearly forty measures into the second theme area, the piano solo ends (m. 104). As it joins the accompaniment, other instruments take up the melody with its characteristic octave, turn, and scale figures. Descending thirds are again interspersed between phrases, and the piano’s broken chords, now played by the low strings, continue through the rest of the section. Score IIA ends at m. 125, that is, in the middle of the B section. In Draft IIA, however, the B section continues for another nineteen measures (to m. 144, had Shostakovich continued scoring) and closes with a pickup to the development, where the draft begins again to prefigure the autograph score27.

In Shostakovich’s orchestration of Draft IIA, the piano is present from the beginning of the movement, where it doubles strings and woodwinds in the A section, and then takes [End Page 10] up its solo in the B section in a manner reminiscent of a classical piano concerto before it recedes into the accompaniment. The effect of the piano, with its extraordinary material, sweeping melody, and concertante element, is remarkable for the choice of instrument, the length of its solo, and its contrast with the opening music. Shostakovich’s articulation of this solo, given in Score IIA, also underscores the piano’s quality of expression. The right-hand part unfolds in long, singing phrases, while the left hand is scored with one long phrase mark over nearly thirty-five measures, below which the strings sustain slowly-changing chords (ex. 3).

Ex. 3. Score IIA, Piano melody (right hand only) with Shostakovich’s articulations. (Transcribed from Score IIA, as reproduced in Dmitri Shostakovich, New Collected Works, ed. Manashir Iakubov, vol. 8 [Moscow, 2009].)
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Ex. 3.

Score IIA, Piano melody (right hand only) with Shostakovich’s articulations. (Transcribed from Score IIA, as reproduced in Dmitri Shostakovich, New Collected Works, ed. Manashir Iakubov, vol. 8 [Moscow, 2009].)

The music strongly contrasts with the A section, as fortissimo unisons and contrapuntal textures give way to expressive solos in the B section. D-flat major moves to A minor, and a forceful 4/4 meter slips into a waltz-like 3/4. Melody, style, and expression, as well as texture, key, and meter, change completely.

In Revision A, Shostakovich’s second compositional stage, he largely did away with the second movement’s reflective interlude, instead aligning the instrumentation of the movement with that of the rest of the symphony. Revision A eliminates the piano solo and, with it, most of the effect of lyric contrast. Forty-one measures long, the revision imprecisely prefigures mm. 67–107 of the final autograph—that is, the B section (mm. 67–101) and the first six measures of the development (mm. 102–7). As Example 4 shows, a spiky, angular tune in Revision A replaces the piano solo and essentially matches the autograph score, excepting a few enharmonic pitches. According to Shostakovich’s marginalia, the new melody is written for piccolo flute and piccolo clarinet.

Thus, Shostakovich changed the melody of the B section, eliminated the piano, and scored the B tune for the piccolo instruments. The change is appropriate to the style and mood of the A section and makes the movement more internally consistent28. Yet vestiges of the original conception remain. The retention of the harmonic scheme (A minor), as well as the melodic move to B-flat in the fifth measure of Revision A (compare m. 9 in [End Page 11] ex. 1), suggests a reshaping, even deepening, of the initial idea. Moreover, Revision A retains the gentle broken-chord accompaniment in the bass clef from Draft IIA. The old accompaniment underlying the new melody in a new character makes the B section an odd juxtaposition of the gently lilting with the energetic and asymmetrical.

Ex. 4. Revision A. (Transcribed from Dmitri Shostakovich, Simfoniya No. 8. Klavir, eskizï [Symphony No. 8. Piano score, sketches], RGALI, f. 2048, op. 1, yed. khr. 11. This is a diplomatic transcription replicating Shostakovich’s notation exactly, including shorthand markings, items he crossed out, an occasional lack of stemming on noteheads, and similar matters.)
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Ex. 4.

Revision A. (Transcribed from Dmitri Shostakovich, Simfoniya No. 8. Klavir, eskizï [Symphony No. 8. Piano score, sketches], RGALI, f. 2048, op. 1, yed. khr. 11. This is a diplomatic transcription replicating Shostakovich’s notation exactly, including shorthand markings, items he crossed out, an occasional lack of stemming on noteheads, and similar matters.)

Draft IIB, the third stage of composition, exactly anticipates the future score and shows the complete removal of any lyrical effect in the second movement. The B section now incorporates most of the changes already made in Revision A—which concerned length and melodic content—and also shows one further modification: the accompaniment of the B section here comprises static, staccato repetitions instead of the broken chords of Revision A, a change that prefigures the final autograph precisely. In notation, the adjustment is slight, altering only the rhythm and articulation of the accompaniment, not its harmonies. The expression of the passage, however, is wholly altered, as all lyrical elements are excised at this stage. As orchestrated, this section of the score opens with the melody in the piccolo flute over pianissimo string accompaniment (see ex. 2)29. With this new, dry accompaniment for its fast, angular melody, the final form of the B section is more homogeneous than it was in Revision A, because it eliminates the juxtaposition of lyrical and [End Page 12] angular elements, and is more stylistically consistent with the rest of the movement. Moreover, the B section maintains the energy of the A section, where the mood is forceful, even percussive, and passages of mixed meters, syncopations, and asymmetrical motifs imbue it with a driving energy. In this final stage of composition, the effect and the quality of expression in the movement as a whole are fully transformed. Shostakovich’s revision of the B section thus made its statement more orchestral and less soloistic, as well as more linear and expressively consistent. All trace of lyricism or expressive outpouring disappeared in favor of an idiom that sustained the mood and style of the movement as a whole.

Perspectives on the Manuscripts and the Changes

Shostakovich’s changes to the second movement, as well as his methods of recording them, illuminate the attention he paid to these sketches and the concerns he had for Movement II in relation to the entire work. To understand these matters, it is worth pausing briefly to look at two curiosities in his manuscripts—Draft IIB and Score IIA, which seem to highlight both fastidiousness and flexibility in Shostakovich’s approach to the Eighth. Certain anomalies in these documents indicate, first, that Shostakovich took painstaking care of his manuscripts to ensure their appearance of cohesion and, second, that despite the fluent look, his ideas about the second movement, and even his revisions, were not at all fixed but malleable.

Draft IIB is unique even in the eskizï. It is the neatest, most refined manuscript in the file, showing a degree of clarity and detail beyond the eskizï’s other drafts. To highlight this fact, we can compare it with Revision B. For mm. 187–234, Draft IIB and Revision B are essentially identical, but Draft IIB is much clearer. From m. 205 to m. 216, it is written on three staves, whereas Revision B is crowded onto two. Instead of the Revision’s dense notation, Draft IIB clarifies the contrapuntal passage, separates the textures, and makes the draft more readable. The draft simply makes the notation of this section neater. The scoring of an identical passage twice, with the only difference being the way the notation appears on the page, highlights what seems to be almost excessive fastidiousness about the appearance of the manuscript and the ordering of its music.

Other details contribute to this impression. All the music comprising Movement II, as we know it from the final score, is essentially present in the eskizï without Draft IIB—that is, Movement II could be put together from Draft IIA on pp. [6–7] and the title page, Revision A on part of p. 5, and Revision B on p. 11 [13]30—but Draft IIB systematises this music in one place, rather than leaving it scattered about the file, and presents a sequential, coherent draft of Movement II. In other words, the draft seems redundant. We might ask if Draft IIB was at least used in scoring, like other drafts in the file. But the margins of Draft IIB contain no marginalia related to instrumentation (or anything else), an absence that is striking not only in this file of eskizï but amongst Shostakovich’s symphonic drafts known to date. Had Shostakovich already made his orchestrational decisions before he wrote Draft IIB? It is possible; but whatever the reason for the anomaly, Draft IIB was [End Page 13] clearly more than a document for orchestration (if it was that at all). It preserved a systematic record of Movement II in piano score and organised the music for that movement in one place. It also pointed to Shostakovich’s approach in this moment, as he not only wrote (and rewrote) sketches, but then also organised them into a clean copy matching the final score.

Score IIA is a second curiosity that provides insights into his thinking. It was while writing this manuscript—specifically, while orchestrating the B section—that Shostakovich decided to revise the second movement. Score IIA breaks off at m. 125, two thirds of the way into the B section31. At precisely this point in Draft IIA, on p. [7] of the eskizï, Shostakovich’s marginalia about instrumentation stop, as though he was orchestrating and noting instrumentation in the draft when he stopped both activities, turned one page back in the eskizï, and began to write Revision A in the largely empty space of p. 5. This manuscript allows us to glimpse the precise moment when Shostakovich decided to revise the second movement and shows how the act of writing led him to new ideas.

But Score IIA is also unusual because it is paginated as if from the beginning of a work. Only six pages survive, and the sixth is composed right to the end without a pause32. Shostakovich numbered these pages 1–6, writing in black ink in the upper right- and left-hand corners in the way he paginated final autographs. The pagination is odd, however, because Movement II of the Eighth Symphony ought to start on p. 26, and Shostakovich knew this. He finished scoring Movement I (at p. 25) on 3 August 1943, six days after he started Draft IIA. In fact, Movement I must have been finished in the final autograph (or very nearly so) by the time Draft IIA was ready for scoring, and Movement II would not reasonably have started from p. 1.

Did Shostakovich consider, even briefly, that Score IIA might be the beginning of another work? It is possible, especially when we recall that the mode of expression in its piano solo has no counterpart in other Shostakovich symphonies. Moreover, the A section of the movement (which Shostakovich retained) incorporates gestures from the Scherzo of Jazz Suite No. 2 from 193833, creating perhaps another dislocation of expression within the movement. Yet the evidence is inconclusive. We know that Shostakovich sometimes worked on more than one project at a time34, but we have no indication that he added or removed movements of major works at the last minute. Moreover, the musical evidence places both versions of Movement II convincingly within the Eighth Symphony—because only one thematic area changed in revision and because Draft IIA had expressive and melodic links to other movements in the work. [End Page 14]

We know that in Shostakovich’s eyes the Eighth was one of the finest examples of his creative facility. And yet it is his only symphony, as far as we know, that underwent a dramatic revision involving two complete variants made during a final stage of composition. His documents for the second movement, set within the pristine sketches for the rest of the symphony, are the paradox at the heart of Shostakovich’s thoughts about this work. He changed his fully prepared ideas as he put them to paper, and his new ideas affected the character and content of both Movement II and the Eighth Symphony. Indeed, Shostakovich reflected on his compositional process in these terms. In the same interview in which he pointed to the Eighth as the best illustration of his facility, he also commented on his creative process more generally and noted that writing music down led to ‘new possibilities for treating the material’35. According to Manashir Iakubov, the late curator of the Dmitri Shostakovich Archive, the composer characterised both premeditation and writing as compositional acts:

Shostakovich said several times that writing down the music goes very quickly, since this is preceded by lengthy reflection on the composition. Nevertheless, he also said more than once that the original idea already formed in his mind may change as he writes the music down on paper: ‘Sometimes it happens that I begin writing, and then have second thoughts. It doesn’t always turn out as I intended’36.

The revision of the second movement of the Eighth illustrates just such ‘second thoughts’. Yet for some reason, Shostakovich carefully preserved his first (written) thoughts, too. As a result, his manuscripts reveal the process of his symphony taking shape, his ideas changing, the composer testing other possibilities, and his decisions reshaping the material.

Why, then, did Shostakovich revise the second movement, and how did each of his versions fit into the Eighth Symphony as a whole? Shostakovich did not (to our knowledge) discuss the revisions, but his changes suggest that the piano interlude in Draft IIA and its effect on the course of the music were primary concerns. Draft IIA fits into a recurring mode of expression in the Eighth, in which reflective passages, characterised by long, lyrical melodies, emerge within or interrupt passages of strongly contrasting expression. Similar long-breathed melodies, with a character and effect comparable to the piano solo in Draft IIA, also appear in Movements I, IV, and V. A striking example can be heard in the recitative for English horn in the first movement’s recapitulation (Fig. 35). The reprise opens with a climactic restatement of the symphony’s opening motif, scored for full orchestra and accompanied by dissonant fortissimo chords. Out of this massive sound emerges the wandering obbligato for English horn over tremolo string accompaniment. The passage contrasts starkly with the preceding music, abruptly halting the music’s forward momentum37. Moreover, the solo scoring augments a sense of isolation and poignant emotion through the medium of a lingering solo voice. What makes the passage so striking is both the expressive quality of the melodic voice and the effect of that voice on the course of the music. [End Page 15]

Ex. 5. Piano and English horn melodies.
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Ex. 5.

Piano and English horn melodies.

The same quality and effect are apparent in the central episode in Shostakovich’s first version of Movement II. Here, the piano solo evokes the English horn’s obbligato in Movement I (Fig. 35). Example 5 shows the piano and English horn melodies. Both themes open with a sustained note value and a falling interval. Both contain an ascending, eight-note scalar figure in the middle of the phrase38, followed by a chromatic descent at the end. Both of these lingering obbligatos (which sound over sustained chords from the strings) come at important structural points in their respective movements, starkly contrast with the music preceding them, and arrest that music’s forward momentum. Most significantly, the expression and effect of the two interludes are strikingly similar: the piano solo in Draft IIA, like the English horn’s obbligato in Movement I, seems to stop the music’s momentum in order to present melodic outpouring. It seems possible, then, that the piano solo of Draft IIA is in some sense a transformation, even a faint echo of the English horn in Movement I. In that relationship, Draft IIA recalls a melodic gesture, character, and effect introduced in the first movement.

When Shostakovich revised the second movement, excising lyricism in favor of a scherzo character, his changes created a contrast with lyrical expression in other parts of the symphony, particularly in other solo woodwind passages. These changes can be evaluated from two perspectives: the sonority of Shostakovich’s second movements in general, and the expressive result in the Eighth Symphony in particular. Piccolo instruments often play prominent roles in Shostakovich’s symphonic scherzi. Notable examples include the piccolo clarinet in Movement II of the Fifth Symphony and the E-flat piccolo clarinet in the second movement of the Sixth. Moreover, given the prominence of woodwind solos throughout the Eighth Symphony, exchanging piano for piccolos in Movement II is consistent with other timbres and sonorities throughout the work. However, woodwind solos in other movements of the Eighth are mainly lyrical. In the first movement, examples include not only the elegiac statement of the English horn, already noted, but the same instrument’s echo of the second theme over a string countermelody in the exposition [End Page 16] (Fig. 11), and its reprise of the second theme in the recapitulation (Fig. 38). Moreover, Movement IV is a slow passacaglia with obbligato passages for piccolo, flute, and clarinet, respectively (Fig. 118ff); and the finale features prominent woodwind solos throughout, from the bassoon’s quiet emergence at the beginning, to the flute’s enigmatic solo voice at the end. In replacing the piano with piccolo instruments in Movement II, Shostakovich made the instrumentation and sonority of the second movement conform with the instrumentation and sonority of the rest of the Eighth Symphony. The change restricted lyrical interludes to outer movements and asserted a homogeneous style in inner movements. It also confirmed that new expression and sonority were crucial to Shostakovich’s rethinking of Movement II.

Did Shostakovich also question the appropriateness of the piano’s episode for both the second movement and the symphony as a whole? It seems possible that he did. The example of Mahler’s ‘Blumine’ comes to mind, the brief second-movement Andante for Symphony No. 1 that made it a five-movement work, until Mahler cast it off, apparently declaring the movement ‘insufficiently symphonic’ because of a long solo39. Shostakovich could not have known ‘Blumine’, which Mahler had withdrawn from Symphony No. 1 by 1896 at the latest, and which was not rediscovered until 1966; yet the situation with Shostakovich’s two versions of the second movement may have been motivated by similar questions of symphonic propriety. Shostakovich rewrote his movement rather than discarding it, and his replacement of an expressive concertante element with new sonorities and more orchestral, less soloistic music may have been one means of addressing the movement’s congruence within the symphony.

We may also ask whether the Eighth Symphony had a program. It is true that Shostakovich denied one, stating that ‘there aren’t any concrete events described in it’, then adding in rather unhelpful socialist-realist terms, that the work represented his ‘philosophical conception’ that ‘life is beautiful’40. Yet many of his symphonies have extra-musical and textual references; and many leave strong implications of meaning in the connotations of their sounds, regardless of what Shostakovich may have claimed for them. The Second, Third, Thirteenth, and Fourteenth Symphonies have texts; the Seventh, Eleventh, and Twelfth have subtitles; and the Seventh, Tenth, and Fifteenth have at least programmatic elements, as well as strongly evocative allusions. Moreover, the Eighth Symphony has long been linked to the war experience, particularly in its inner movements. Hugh Ottaway described the second movement as ‘an aggressive march-cumscherzo’ and the third as the ‘embodiment of all that is meant by a war machine’41. Boris Schwarz called the work ‘a contemplation of war and its horrors’ and characterised fast passages in the first three movements as representing ‘a battle or invasion’, or (in line with the suggestions of the first Soviet commentators) ‘distorted pictures of the “enemy” ’42. Moreover, David Haas comments that [End Page 17]

the nearly unanimous critical interpretation of the Scherzo and Toccata as evocations of the war experience is based on the evidence of brisk tempi, mechanized motion, and extreme ranges and dynamics. Significant, too, is the lack of lyrical writing; neither lyrical themes nor arioso connecting passage-work appear in movements II and III43.

It is precisely this lyrical element that was present in Shostakovich’s original conception of Movement II. Moreover, the excision of lyricism, it would seem, heightened the impression of war imagery in the work (at least for some). Yet what could be more appropriate, in a war composition, than lyrical reflection? Or was there something Mahler-esque about this lyricism—perhaps sentimental expression as a platform for nostalgia—which was inconsistent with the expressive stance of a symphony in which the lyrical connotation is often sober and tragic? In 1956, Shostakovich emphasised the work’s tragic connotations, suggesting that it was an echo of terrible times, a reflection of an era:

In this work there was an attempt to express the emotional experience of the people, to reflect the terrible tragedy of the war. Composed in the summer of 1943, the Eighth Symphony is an echo of that difficult time44.

This explanation has some corroboration in the reminiscences of Atovm’yan, who recalled that while writing the Eighth, Shostakovich went every day to see a newsreel about the atrocities of war and fascism45. Then, in 1959, in a private conversation recorded by Glikman, Shostakovich made another association when he acknowledged a close relationship between his Fifth and Eighth Symphonies:

The first movement of the Eighth is like a rewritten first movement of the Fifth; but in the years separating the two symphonies, I have gained much life experience. Yet the Fifth Symphony has become the so-called ‘repertoire’ piece [he spoke the word ‘repertoire’ with an ironic smile], and the Eighth is played very, very rarely46.

We do not know precisely what the implications of Draft IIA might have been for the rest of the Eighth Symphony, or how subsequent movements might have been affected by the presence of a piano and the mode of its expression. Perhaps Draft IIA as Movement II might have seemed like a march-cum-waltz (to borrow Ottaway’s terms) of less martial evocation, and the symphony as a whole, a lyrical drama, as Haas’s interpretation of Movements I and V implies:

Shostakovich’s Eighth, with its quiet close and preponderance of lyrical interludes ... [can be read] as the final manifestation of a symphonic lyricism ... [marked by] successive incursions of a lyrical element—and a lyrical persona47.

Draft IIA fit into this symphonic lyricism in the Eighth Symphony. In that link, the draft sheds light on a recurring mode of expression in the Eighth, which seems to lie, as Haas suggests, in ‘successive incursions of a lyrical element’.

As we now know, Shostakovich initially wrote a second movement in just such a lyrical, contemplative vein. He changed his mind, however, late in his compositional process, [End Page 18] when he had orchestrated almost half a score. Draft IIA represents his first (written) thoughts in which lyrical disruption, or interlude, was central. Revisions A and B record the ‘second thoughts’ that came to him while writing Score IIA and that transformed lyrical expression into a scherzo-like idiom. Draft IIB is a copy of the final version, in which Movement II is a stylistically homogenous scherzo. These documents reveal to us the creative process through which Shostakovich reshaped the expression of the second movement in a way that had implications for the entire work.

I have argued that Shostakovich’s sketches for the Eighth Symphony are important because they allow us to trace the composer’s concerns, first, for the symphony and, second, for the manuscripts that documented his process. Of course, the preservation of archival documents always relies to a certain extent on happenstance, and therefore, to presume that these documents for the Eighth Symphony were specially preserved, or are specially meaningful, could be dangerous. Yet as we have seen, there is reason to presume precisely this. By comparison with Shostakovich’s known sketches for his symphonies, these for the Eighth are unique—in their ordering, arrangement, and pagination (revised by Shostakovich in a manner that reflected the ordering of the final score); in the presence of some dates; in Shostakovich’s creation of a title page for the file; in the crossing out (in Shostakovich’s hand) of material that is not part of the final score; in the drafting of the sketches consecutively on folios; and in the drafts and revisions that the sketches contain. These features point to a unique treatment of the Eighth Symphony manuscripts, indeed to care over their creation and preservation. While we may not know precisely what Shostakovich valued in relation to this work, we can observe what he did. In the case of the Eighth Symphony, he wrote two versions of a movement at a near-final point of the compositional process and preserved his manuscripts, despite the decisions he had made about the final work, in a way that has no known counterpart among other extant documents for his symphonies. We know, then, from his statements that this symphony was important to Shostakovich; but his sketches demonstrate something significant to us, allowing us to glimpse how a composer composed, how a work took shape, how it might in fact have been very different. [End Page 19] [End Page 20]

Laura E. Kennedy

Laura E. Kennedy is an assistant professor of musicology at Furman University and a specialist on the music of Dmitri Shostakovich.

Her research has been supported by numerous grants and fellowships, including a Fulbright Fellowship to Russia and Rackham Humanities Research and Dissertation Fellowships. Heartfelt thanks go to the Dmitri Shostakovich Archive, the Russian State Archive of Literature and Art, and the Glinka Museum of Musical Culture in Moscow for assistance and access in this research; to Irina Antonovna Shostakovich, to the late Manashir Iakubov, and to Olga Dombrovskaya and Olga Digonskaya for their kind support; to Richard Taruskin for his valuable comments and critiques on drafts of this article; and to David Fanning for his insightful comments on a spoken version of this paper at the International Conference on Music in Russia and the Soviet Union (University of Durham). A Russian translation of this article will appear in 2017 in Opera musicologica No. 4 (30).


1. Olga Dombrovskaya, ed., Dmitriy Shostakovich: stranitsï zhizni v fotografiyakh [Dmitri Shostakovich: pages of his life in photographs] (Moscow: DSCH, 2006). Shostakovich completed movements II, III, and IV of the autograph score in Ivanovo.

2. Mark Aranovsky wrote to Shostakovich in 1973 to ask the composer about his ‘creative process’. M. Aranovsky, ‘Zametki o tvorchestve’ [Notes on creative work], Sovetskaya muzïka 45, no. 9 (1981): 21–22.

3. Diary entries ‘Leningrad, 5 XII 1944’ (yed. khr. 1), ‘18 XII 1959’ (yed. khr. 4), and ‘10 yanvarya 1962’ (yed. khr. 4), in Isaak Glikman, Journal I–X, Dmitri Shostakovich Archive, f. 4, r. 2, yed. khr. 1–10.

4. Diary entry ‘18 XII 1959’, in Glikman, Journal I–X.

5. Ibid.

6. Dmitri Shostakovich, New Collected Works, ed. Manashir Iakubov [hereinafter: NCW], 150 vols. [projected] (Moscow: DSCH, 2000–).

7. Simfoniya No. 8. Klavir, eskizï [Symphony No. 8. Piano score, sketches], RGALI, f. 2048, op. 1, yed. khr. 11; copies in the Dmitri Shostakovich Archive, f. 2, r. 1, yed. khr. 41. There are a number of discrepancies between English- and Russian-language terminology in relation to Shostakovich’s manuscripts (for example, the word eskizï, or ‘sketches’, which are actually, in this instance, long drafts in piano score). The issue of terminology—and my decision to follow Russian usage—are explained in the next section, ‘The Manuscripts’.

8. Simfoniya No. 8. Partitura, otrïvki 1, 2, 3, ch. [Symphony No. 8. Autograph score, excerpts from movements 1, 2, 3], RGALI, f. 2048, op. 1, yed. khr. 10; copies in the Dmitri Shostakovich Archive, f. 2, r. 1, yed. khr. 42.

9. Simfoniya No. 8. Nabroski [Symphony No. 8. Drafts], GTsMMK [Glinka Museum of Musical Culture], f. 32, yed. khr. 125; copies in the Dmitri Shostakovich Archive, f. 2, r. 1, yed. khr. 124. Despite the label nabroski, this manuscript is not a draft but a two-page list of twelve principal themes from the Eighth Symphony. It has no date but probably post-dates the score since it contains metronomic, dynamic, and tempo markings that also appear in the final autograph.

10. This transcription is in two eleven-bar fragments—for Parts I and II and for Parts III and IV. The fragment of Parts III and IV is filed with the eskizï for the Eighth Symphony (see n. 7), while the fragment of Parts I and II is in Razroznennïye listï iz razlichnïkh proizvedeniy [Assorted pages from different works], RGALI, f. 2048, op. 1, yed. khr. 63; copies in the Dmitri Shostakovich Archive, f. 2, r. 1, yed. khr. 205.

11. Simfoniya No. 8. Korrektura s notnïm prilozheniyem [Symphony No. 8. Proof-sheets with musical supplements], GTsMMK f. 32, inv. no. 2147.

12. Simfoniya No. 8. Partitura [Symphony No. 8. Autograph score], RGALI, f. 2048, op. 1, yed. khr. 9; copies in the Dmitri Shostakovich Archive, f. 2, r. 1, yed. khr. 9.

13. An additional page contains the beginning (eleven bars) of Parts III and IV of the eight-hand piano transcription (see n. 10). This fragment is written on the first page of a folded quarto, whose other three pages are blank. In this article, all references to the eskizï indicate the twenty-six pages in piano score and exclude the fragment of transcription.

14. See Table 1, n. 17.

15. Shostakovich wrote several anthems for this competition and collaborated on one with Aram Khachaturyan. Their joint and individual entries reached the third (and final) round of the competition, but did not win. After a text substitution, their joint anthem became the “Song of the Red Army.” Laurel E. Fay, Shostakovich: A Life (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 139.

16. Shostakovich originally paginated Draft IIA, but then crossed out his numbering, skipped over the draft, and continued numbering with Draft IIB.

17. Sixteen pages (from the Title Page through the Anthem) are on 24-stave paper, approximately 34.8 × 21.5 centimeters (trademark «1-ya Obr. tip. Zak. . . .», an abbreviation for «1-ya Obraztsovaya tipografiya Zakaz . . .», or ‘First Model Press Order [number]’). The next six pages (for two thirds of Draft V) are written on 14-stave paper, about 29.9 × 20.7 centimeters (trademark «Po zakazu Mosk. k-rï Glavumsbïta», or ‘By order of Moscow k-rï [possibly kontorï] Glavumsbïta’). Four more pages (for the last third of Draft V) come from the same press but are slightly smaller with twelve staves on paper approximately 28.1 × 22.6 centimeters. The beginning of the piano transcription (on [26]) is a folded sheet that has been cut off at the bottom and right-hand margins, leaving eleven staves and measuring about 33.6 × 24.1 centimeters.

18. The first eight sheets (comprising the Title page/third page of Draft IIA, Draft I, Revision A, and the first two pages of Draft IIA) are a folio. The final two bars of Movement I appear at the top of p. 5 (verso). Revision A also covers five systems of that page, and below the revision is a penciled outline of the passacaglia theme from Movement IV. The rest of p. 5 has empty staves with no further notation. Draft IIA, which preceded Revision A chronologically, begins on p. [6] (recto).

19. The corresponding passage in the final autograph is approximately Fig. 106 to the end of Movement III.

20. Between Drafts IIA and IIB, 168 measures (of 308 in Draft IIA) are the same.

21. The development, reprise, and coda also contain passages based on the music of the B section. These passages differ in Drafts IIA and IIB, but not always significantly.

22. Preserved in Shostakovich, Simfoniya No. 8. Partitura, otrïvki 1, 2, 3, ch. (see n. 8).

23. Revision B is a revision of the reprise of the B section and the first half of the coda; it is forty-six measures long, matches mm. 187–234 of the final autograph exactly, and is the consequence compositionally of the ideas introduced in Revision A.

24. The transcription is my own. A facsimile of the first page of Draft IIA appears in the Appendix of NCW 23:169.

25. There are precedents in Shostakovich’s symphonies for the piano as a solo instrument. The First and Fifth Symphonies come to mind, although the piano in those works appears in more than one movement, is part of the instrumentation, and has no specific expressive function or character. In the First Symphony, its sparkling interjections consist of scalar runs, glissandi, spiky fragments of melody, and thematic statements with full orchestra. In the Fifth Symphony, the piano’s thirty-five measures (Figs. 17–22) in Movement I consist first of a rhythmic ostinato doubling the cello-bass part, then of chords doubling the violins and violas. The piano returns for ten measures of tremolo in the Largo (Figs. 89–90) and, in the finale, doubles the strings and woodwinds for the final seventy-four measures of the piece. In each of Shostakovich’s symphonies with piano, the instrument produces percussive and coloristic effects, sometimes in fragmentary solos but most often within the larger ensemble.

26. The measures numbers given here come from the transcription in Volume 8 of the New Collected Works. There are no measures numbers in Shostakovich’s piano score drafts.

27. The B section of Draft IIA is forty-five measures longer than the B section in the final autograph. Therefore, the development section of Draft IIA begins around m. 145 (as far as we may discern from the sketches), whereas the corresponding section in Movement II, as we know it, begins at m. 102.

28. A parallel change in instrumentation occurs in Revision B, the revised reprise of the B section, where Shostakovich’s marginalia indicate increased woodwinds and percussion, including xylophone, tamburo, bass clarinet, and contrabassoon. These low woodwinds and percussion are not in Score IIA (Shostakovich’s partial orchestration of Draft IIA), but one or more of them are present in all movements of Symphony No. 8 in the autograph score.

29. The passage from Movement II is used since draft and score are essentially the same.

30. Draft IIA prefigures mm. 1–66, 107–86, and 227–50 of the score; Revisions A and B prefigure mm. 67–107 and mm. 187–227, respectively. Thus, every measure of the second movement can be accounted for. (It is true that Revision A’s correspondence with the score is not exact, but its differences hardly seem significant enough to warrant a new draft of the entire movement.)

See also Table 1 for pagination. I give archival numbering in square brackets and Shostakovich’s numbering without brackets.

31. That is, sixty-one measures into Draft IIA’s eighty-measure B section.

32. This could imply a continuation that does not survive, but I believe it is unlikely that Shostakovich finished the score. Although the fragment includes notation, dynamics, articulation, instrumentation for each system, and the tempo marking Moderato con moto, many other kinds of markings found in his completed scores are absent—such as title, movement number, rehearsal numbers, system breaks in red pencil, and rests in empty measures.

33. Cf. Symphony No. 8, Mvt. II, mm. 20–43, and Jazz Suite No. 2, Scherzo, mm. 9–35. I thank David Fanning for drawing my attention to this connection. Manashir Iakubov also notes the similarities in his critical commentary on the Eighth Symphony (NCW 8:210), as well as parallels between the opening of Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major and the first (orchestral) theme of Shostakovich’s second movement (NCW 8:209, 238).

34. The presence of the Anthem in this file of eskizï is one example; there are also small interpolations of extraneous material in some of his other symphonic sketches, for example, a copy of the alto part from the D minor Fugue, Op. 87, on pp. 21–22 of the Tenth Symphony sketches (Simfoniya No. 10. Klavir, eskizï [Symphony No. 10. Piano score, sketches], RGALI, f. 2048, op. 1, yed. khr. 14; copies in the Dmitri Shostakovich Archive, f. 2, r. 1, yed. khr. 52).

35. Shostakovich, quoted in Aranovsky, ‘Zametki’, 22.

36. NCW, 3:211. Emphasis added.

37. David Haas observes that the passage is similar ‘in placement and scoring’ to the ‘oboe recitative’ in the first movement of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony but notes that Shostakovich’s recitative is much longer and ‘inhibits all sense of progress towards a goal’. David Haas, ‘Shostakovich’s Eighth: C Minor Symphony Against the Grain’, in Shostakovich in Context, ed. Rosamund Bartlett (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 130.

38. While not precisely scalar, the English horn’s gesture is clearly similar to the piano’s in shape, placement in the phrase, and number of crochets leading to the minim as the point of arrival.

39. Bruno Walter quoting Mahler, as cited in Donald Mitchell, The Wunderhorn Years (London: Faber, 1975), 221.

40. Dmitriy Shostakovich, ‘Vos’maya simfoniya. Beseda s kompozitorom D. Shostakovichem’ [Eighth Symphony. Conversation with the composer D. Shostakovich], Literatura i iskusstvo (18 September 1943): 1.

41. Hugh Ottaway, Shostakovich Symphonies (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1978), 39–40. Russian critics also linked it to the war experience, notably, Levon Atovm’yan, ‘Iz vospominaniy’ [From reminiscences], Muzïkal’naya akademiya 4 (1997): 67–77; Genrikh Orlov, Russkii Sovetskii Simfonizm [Russian-Soviet symphonism] (Moscow-Leningrad: Muzïka, 1966), 187–201; Marina Sabinina, Shostakovich—simfonist: dramaturgiya, estetika, stil’ [Shostakovich as symphonist: dramaturgy, aesthetics, style] (Moscow: Muzïka, 1976), 222–25; and Boris Yarustovsky, Simfonii o voyne i mire [Symphonies of war and peace] (Moscow: Nauka, 1966), 27–94.

42. Boris Schwarz, Music and Musical Life in Soviet Russia, 1917–1970 (New York: Norton, 1972), 194.

43. Haas, ‘Shostakovich’s Eighth’, 131. Emphasis added.

44. Dmitriy Shostakovich, ‘Mïsli o proydennom puti’ [Thoughts about the path traversed], Sovetskaya Muzïka 9 (1956): 9–15.

45. Atovm’yan, ‘Iz vospominaniy’, 75, cited in Fay, A Life, Chapter 8, note 53.

46. Shostakovich, quoted in Diary entry ‘18 XII 1959’, in Glikman, Journal I–X.

47. Haas, “Shostakovich’s Eighth,” 125.

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