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Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Shostakovici - Waltz 2; Kalatozov - The First Echelon

Dmitri Shostakovich scored this movie, The First Echelon (Первый эшелон), made in 1955 by Mikhail Kalatazov. Nikolai Pogodin was the screenwriter, and Sergei Urushevsky the cinematographer. All of them well-known personalities of the Soviet culture.

The movie is today kind of forgotten (Kalatozov made after it Letyat Zhuravli, which remained definitely in the history of cinematography). The score had a history of its own. The main melody in the movie would become Waltz No.2, part of the Shostakovich's Suite for Variety Orchestra (not to be confounded with his Jazz Suite No. 2, composed before the war).

And the Waltz No. 2 would be used much later, in 1999, in the soundtrack of Kubrick's Eves Wide Shut.

Here in this video the Waltz No. 2 by Shostakovich is still part of the soundtrack in The First Echelon, from 1955. The video puts together two separate scenes from the movie. I haven't seen the whole movie, but these two scenes are cinematographically fabulous!

I dedicate this post to Ileana Ene Giusca and Adrian Rezus.

(Russian and Soviet Cinema)

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