Shostakovich 7 Sequence 1

Shostakovich 7 Sequence 1 is the main theme from Shostakovich’s epic 7th symphony. You may like this sequence because it will help you improve your sustained fortissimo sound, open intervals, clear articulations, and quick breathing.

When the bones get to play this lick at the end of the symphony, all SIX of us are in unison, so there is no need to push! Play this sequence with a strong, clear, supported sound, as if you are crying out with your comrades in triumph after flipping the bird to the Nazis for over 800 days.

Happy Practicing!

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Download – C Treble Clef

Download – Bb Treble Clef

Download – Horn in F

Download – Bass Clef

Download – Bass Clef Low

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The horns cue the end of the piece is near with their entrance at 15:16, but the sequenced material starts at 17:07. So good!

The 7th symphony is a very important piece for the Russian people because it was premiered in Leningrad (modern day St. Petersburg)  during WW2 while the city was under siege by Nazi forces.I had the great privilege of playing this piece last Wednesday in a combined ensemble of the San Diego Symphony and the Mariinsky Theater Orchestra lead by Maestro Valery Gergiev, and it was one of the most powerful musical experiences of my life. During our performance, the Mariinsky musicians played with an astounding level of confidence and commitment that propelled the SDSO to a level I’ve never experienced before. I wish you could have heard it.

One thought on “Shostakovich 7 Sequence 1

  1. Urbie

    I played Shostakovich 7 last year. HATED it — there’s a lot of beautiful writing in that symphony, but none of it is for us! Shostakovich thinks we’re the Three Stooges or something, always caricatures of a big hideous blunderbuss. An Edwards is not the right horn for that — much too beautiful, colorful sound (even in this video)! My conductor kept asking us to play louder and louder — I was getting close to hurting myself in rehearsals, so I ended up leaving Eddie at home and using my ’70s Bach 36 — much brighter, and easier to make the bright, awful sound Shostakovich wants. (Keep in mind that, depending on which musicologist/historian you believe, the conclusion of this symphony was really more ironic than triumphant — it was written long before the outcome of WWII was at all certain, and most likely he was well aware that even if the Allies won the war, in the USSR, that just meant their reward was… more terrifying, soul-crushing life under Stalin!). And all of that “marching Nazis” theme that we have to keep playing over and over like a sledgehammer, earlier in the symphony… what torture. I will never play Shostakovich again — the other one I’ve done was #9, with the famous “buffoon trombonist who keeps getting lost” throughout the first movement. I used the 36 for that one, too — why waste the Edwards when the composer wants you to sound bad? What’s more, I did — just for added realism — actually get lost during that passage and came in wrong with a couple of the “ba-baaaaaaaaaaam” entrances. Thankfully, I was able to find the downbeat and come in correctly when he finds the time again.

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