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Shostakovich: Alone

Can you guess this piece? Here’s a hint: in Siberia, you need all the friends you can get…

Alone was one of the first Soviet sound films. Shostakovich’s innovative score uses the recently invented Theremin, as well as recordings of throat-singing to depict the Siberian setting. Alone tells the story of Yelena, a young Soviet schoolteacher who must come to terms with an undesirable but socially important assignment. Sent to teach in Siberia, Yelena takes part in a government initiative to wean the more remote regions of Russia away from their backwards lifestyle, and towards progressive socialist ideals. Although her aloofness initially alienates her from her new community, reconciliation occurs after the villagers rescue her from a brutal snowstorm. Both the film and its score, unfortunately, remain somewhat incomplete, with the all copies of one of its seven reels destroyed during the Siege of Leningrad.

Music Heard On This Episode

Dmitri Shostakovich: Alone: Storm Scene
Royal Concertgebaouw Orchestra/Riccardo Chailly, cond. — Shostakovich: The Film Album (Decca, 1999)
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album cover
Dmitri Shostakovich: Alone: Storm Scene
Royal Concertgebaouw Orchestra/Riccardo Chailly, cond. — Shostakovich: The Film Album (Decca, 1999)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover

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