Dmitry Shostakovich

The Tale of the Priest and His Servant Balda, animated film score, Op. 36

    Description by James Leonard

    The Tale of the Priest and His Servant Balda was Shostakovich's fourth film score and his first for an animated film. After his earlier work on the films, particularly on the continuous score of The New Babylon (1928 - 1929), Shostakovich had often contemplated creating a new hybrid medium, the film-opera. The Tale of the Priest and His Servant Balda was as close to a realization of this idea as he ever came. Working with the director Mikhail Tsekhanovsky in early 1933, Shostakovich set a fairy tale from Pushkin as a continuous score. Unfortunately the contract for the film was canceled, but Shostakovich, taken with the idea, continued to work sporadically on the score for the remainder of the year. More unfortunately, both the completed footage and the score were destroyed in the Siege of Leningrad, and The Tale of the Priest and His Servant Balda became no more than a footnote in Shostakovich's long career as a film composer.


    1. Overture
    2. No. 1, Description of the Bazaar
    3. No. 2, Balda's entrance
    4. No. 3, The Bear's Dance
    5. No. 4, Merry-go-round
    6. No. 5, The Meeting of the Priest and Balda
    7. No. 6, Dialogue of the Priest and Balda
    8. No. 7, Finale of Scene 1 - Closing of the Bazaar
    9. No. 8, The Devil's Procession
    10. No. 9, The Bell-ringer and Devils' Dance
    11. No. 10, Description of the Village
    12. No. 11, Balda and the Priest's Son at Dinner
    13. No. 12, Balda's Work
    14. No. 13, Balda's Song
    15. No. 14, The Priest's Son Dance
    16. No. 15, Balda and the Priest's Daughter Lullaby
    17. No. 16, What a song
    18. No. 17, Fir-grove, my fir-grove
    19. No. 18, The splinter
    20. No. 19, The Priest's Daughter's Dream
    21. No. 20, The Priest's Daughter's Romance
    22. No. 21, The Priest's Lament
    23. No. 22, The Metropolitan Priest
    24. No. 23, Balda's Farewell
    25. No. 24, Introduction
    26. No. 25, Dialogue of the Old Devil and Balda
    27. No. 26, First dialogue of the Little Devil and Balda
    28. No. 27, Second dialogue of the Little Devil and Balda
    29. No. 28, Balda's Galop
    30. No. 29, The Rent
    31. No. 30, Balda's Return
    32. No. 31, Balda's Welcome
    33. No. 32, Looking for the Priest
    34. No. 33, Three Flicks
    35. No. 34, Final Chorus

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2014 Phaia Music PHU 040
    2011 Delos DRD 2005
    2011 Alto / Musical Concepts 5002
    2003 Boheme Music 012192
    1998 Citadel Records 88129
    DG Deutsche Grammophon 000650702