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Abbreviations (PDF)



This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes / Sikorski for the UK, British Commonwealth (excluding Canada), Republic of Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey, Israel.


World Premiere
Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra / Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
Programme Note
Repertoire Note

The 2nd Scherzo is the first orchestral work of the young Shostakovich that really sounds like Shostakovich. It is a delightful little squib, funny, cheeky and irreverent, with two maddeningly catchy tunes and a spectacular solo part for piano. It would make an ideal encore piece.

At the time he wrote this music, Shostakovich was earning money in the cinema playing piano to accompany silent films. The 2nd Scherzo sounds exactly like the kind of music he might have improvised at that time. It might almost be the sound-track to a Keystone-Cops film and is guaranteed to make an audience burst into laughter and applause.

Note by Gerard McBurney

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