A largely unknown Shostakovich violin sonata fragment received its UK premiere at the University of Manchester’s Martin Harris Centre yesterday. The four-minute section, which was discovered after the composer’s death, was performed by Marc Danel from the university’s resident Quatuor Danel, and Manchester professor of music and Gramophone critic David Fanning. Hear an except from the performance below - the first time the work has been broadcast anywhere in the world.
The sonata section was written in 1945, 23 years before the composer’s only complete Violin Sonata, Op 134, and in part forms the basis for the third theme of the Tenth Symphony’s first movement. Although it is widely believed that the Tenth Symphony was written in reaction to the death of Stalin, the fragment shows Shostakovich used earlier ideas for the 1953 work.
Unearthed at the Russian State Archives for Literature and Art, the work was first performed in Russia in 2006.