Watch: Rare and unseen Shostakovich film

Watch: Rare and unseen Shostakovich film


norman lebrecht

March 11, 2017

Albert Gendelshtein’s 1966 Soviet documentaty, ‘Dmitri Shostakovich – Sketches for a portrait of the composer’, shows rare historic footage of the great composer.

Among the participants are Maxim Shostakovich, Leonid Kogan, Sviatoslav Richter, Galina Vishnevskaya, Mstislav Rostropovich, Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko, Evgeny Mravinsky and more.

Do not miss the billiards scene. Or Richter with the Beethoven Quartet.

Альберт Гендельштейн – Дмитрий Шостакович – Святослав Рихтер – Мстислав Ростропович – Владимир Немирович-Данченко – Леонид Коган – Галина Вишневская – Карл Элиасберг – Максим Шостакович – Евгений Мравинский – 1966


  • Florence Trocmé says:

    Wonderful and amazing. Thank you so much. I’ll give the link to the followers of my website Muzibao. With link to Slipped Disc too !

    • Steven Holloway says:

      Or a link to YouTube, from where this film was taken. Hardly “unseen”, therefore.

      • Alan P says:

        So “hardly unseen” so what! AlwYs someone who knows it! I don’t troll the internet all day so having Norman bringing it to my attention is a an asset! Thanks Norman, really enjoyed!

  • Florence Trocmé says:

    at 30′, terrible, the music without the musicians. All missing, killed ?

  • NYMike says:

    Thanks, Norman!

  • Patrick McFarland says:

    I looked everywhere but couldn’t locate The Shostakovich film. What am I missing?

  • esfir ross says:

    Richter plays with Borodin quartet not Beethoven extinct quartet.

  • Natalie Clein says:

    Thanks Norman – Are there subtitles available?

    • norman lebrecht says:

      Unfortunately not, Natalie, but the music and the pictures speak for themselves.

      • Steven Holloway says:

        Not entirely. For example, the conductor of the shockingly depleted orchestra is Karl Eliasberg, and his is a story in itself. I rather doubt if many viewers of the video recognized him, though.That performance of the Leningrad Symphony took place in 1942, with the remaining 15 members of the Leningrad Radio Orchestra plus members of military bands. All were starving and some would fall off their chairs during rehearsals. A remarkably fine book about that occasion is Sarah Quigley’s novel The Conductor, the author possessed of a deep knowledge of music.

  • Eli Newberger says:

    Thanks for this affecting posting. The Boston Symphony’s performance of the Seventh Symphony 2 weeks ago, recorded for Andris Nelson’s’ series, was heartfelt and devastating. The cinematic depiction of the Leningrad blockade, illuminated both by music and real-time photographs, summoned equally the Nazi’s inhumanity and Shostakovich’s fierce morality.