On Shostakovich’s birthday, a long-lost viola work is found

On Shostakovich’s birthday, a long-lost viola work is found


norman lebrecht

September 25, 2017

Archivists in Moscow are aglow at the discovery, in the city library, of a two page score for viola. The work is dedicated: ‘Dear Alexander Mikhailovich in memory of our acquaintance. D. Shostakovich 2 / V 1931, Leningrad.’

Alexander Mikhailovich Ryvkin (1893-1951) was the violist of the Glazunov Quartet.

The manuscript was found among the papers of Vadim Borisovsky (1900-72), violist of the Beethoven Quartet.

Today would have been Shostakovich’s 111th birthday.



  • Sue says:

    Lighten up, Dmitri, it’s only a horse!!!

  • Carl Smith says:

    Looking forward to publication of the piece!
    I have the original 1st russian printing of the sonata.

  • Saul Davis says:

    Here is something perhaps even more significant:
    Shostakovich had Jewish ancestry, via his patrilineal descent. I have many Shostak cousins (which has varied spellings), among which they told of being related to Shostakovich. Not having documentation is not an applicable requirement, as there rarely is much, but someone could research records in Belarus to trace the family through Boleslav Shostakovich (his direct ancestor), whose name, I suspect, was Berl. It was normal for Jewish people to have Russified names as well. Another famous Shostac is the flutist, David. Russians, of course, love to deny this possibility, as they are deeply Anti-Semitic, but it certainly gives added depth to his Songs from Jewish Folk Poetry, as well as his independent stance against Stalin.