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Shostakovich: New Babylon ()

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Very early in his career, starting when he was 16, Shostakovich began developing his chops for film scoring by accompanying silent films in theaters, improvising the score at the piano as he watched the images on the screen. His facility is evident in his orchestral score for the 1929 film New Babylon, written when the composer was just 22, but his aesthetic approach had evolved; he was determined to write a score that didn't simply mirror the immediate image but that addressed the larger themes of the film and conveyed the emotional essence of each scene. It was a silent film but it was to be accompanied by a live pit orchestra. Considering what a short time he had to write the score (he was required to submit a 90-minute piano version in a month) and the orchestration, including a version for trio, a month after that, he brought probing insights and a surprisingly well-integrated vision to the film. Neither the film nor its daring music was a success, and the score was thought lost until after the... Hide synopsis

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