Dmitri Shostakovich


I know what you are thinking: this is a blog about film composers!  Why is Shostakovich here?  Well, Shostakovich (1906-1975) was in fact quite a prolific film composer, writing the scores to over 30 films.  He otherwise needs little introduction, as his symphonic, concerto, and chamber works are a staple of the orchestral and otherwise instrumental repertoire.

However, in all of his instrumental writing, Shostakovich never wrote for brass alone.  He did, however, write music that works very well in brass instruments, such as the “Festive Overture.”  Here is a performance of an arrangement performed by the German Brass:

So, is this an effective arrangement?  I think it is an incredibly effective arrangement, but also exceedingly difficult, when performed at that tempo.  The string/woodwind run passages provide a unique challenge for brass, but a professional group like the German Brass does the piece justice.  If this piques your interest, many of Shostakovich’s other works have been transcribed for brass.

One comment on “Dmitri Shostakovich

  1. Drew Phillips on said:

    I personally also enjoy the arrangement of Festival Overture done for trumpet ensemble. There is a fantastic video of the Juilliard Trumpet Ensemble performing it at a competition on YouTube. It is also just as challenging as this arrangement.

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