Sunday, 21 May 2017

Марш Энтузиастов № 2

by Isaak Dunaevski and/or Dmitri Shostakovich

One day, when Timur was practicing the famous Waltz No. 2 on violin, Tamara pointed out the uncanny similarity (the meter difference aside) between the first part of the Shostakovich’s waltz and the chorus of March of Enthusiasts. This latter song, composed by Isaak Dunaevski with lyrics by Anatoli D’Aktil, appears in the film Светлый путь. Which prompted me to revisit the said lyrics. What can I say... It’s a curious mix of good-natured idealism with typical of that time gung-ho patriotism. The lines

Ты по степи, ты по лесу,
Ты к тропикам, ты к полюсу
made me think of the “poem for children” from Ilf and Petrov’s short story Всеобъемлющий зайчик:
Ходит зайчик по лесу
К Северному полюсу...
But what’s this?
К станку ли ты склоняешься,
В скалу ли ты врубаешься...
My first association was the lines from Vysotsky (Бал-маскарад):
Она мне:
— Одевайся!
Мол, я тебя стесняюся...
Once it has settled in, it won’t go. I thought we can use more of that:
Раздали маски кроликов,
Слонов и алкоголиков...

И проведу, хоть тресну я,
Часы свои воскресные...

Одетые животными,
С двумя же бегемотами...
Marvellous.

For the musically-minded readers, I post the fragments of the works in question, so you can spot the similarity for yourself.

I used the Frescobaldi tool to edit my LilyPond files:

% ****************************************************************
% Waltz no. 2 (Dmitri Shostakovich)
% ****************************************************************
\version "2.18.2"
\header {
  title = "Waltz No. 2"
  composer = "Dmitri Shostakovich"
 }
staffMelody = {
   \key d \minor
   \time 3/4
   a'2. | f'2 e'4 | d'2.(d'4) d'4 e'4 | f'4 d'4 f'4 | a'2 bes'4 | a'2. | g'2. | \break
   g'2. | e'2 d'4 | cis'2.(|cis'4) a4 cis'4 | e'4 cis'4 e'4 | g'4 a'4 bes'4 | gis'2. | a'2. | \break
   f''2. | e''2 d''4 | c''2 bes'4 | g'2. | e''2. | d''2 c''4 | a'2.  |\break
}
\score {
  <<
      \new Staff {
      \context Voice = "voiceMelody" { \staffMelody }
    }
  >>
}

As you can see, I’ve transposed Dunaevski’s unwieldy B♭ minor to more agreeable B minor:

% ****************************************************************
% March of Enthusiasts (Isaak Dunaevski)
% ****************************************************************
\version "2.18.2"
\header {
  title = "March of Enthusiasts"
  composer = "Isaak Dunaevski"
 }
staffMelody = {
   \key bes \minor
   \time 4/4
   aes'2 f'4. ees'8 | aes'2 r4 des'4 | f'4 aes'4 des''4. c''8 | c''2 bes'2 | \break
   bes'2 ges'4. f'8 | bes'2. bes'4 | c''4 des''4 ees''4. c''8 | f''1 | \break
   f''2 ees''4. f''8 | ees''4. des''8 des''2 | des''2 c''4. des''8 | c''4. bes'8 bes'2 | \break  
}
\score {
  <<
    \transpose bes b
    \new Staff {
      \context Voice = "voiceMelody" { \staffMelody }
    }
  >>
}

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