The Execution of Stepan Razin

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The Execution of Stepan Razin (Russian «Казнь Степана Разина») (Op. 119) is a cantata composed by Dimitri Shostakovich to a libretto by Yevgeny Yevtushenko in 1964. The subject is the execution of Stepan Razin, a Cossack leader who headed a major uprising (1670–71) against the nobility and tsarist bureaucracy in southern Russia.[1]


Yevtushenko's lyrics for the cantata depict Razin's fate in front of the crowd:

КАЗНЬ СТЕНЬКИ РАЗИНА : Как во стольной Москве белокаменной вор по улице бежит с булкой маковой. Не страшит его сегодня самосуд. Не до булок... Стеньку Разина везут! Царь бутылочку мальвазии выдаивает, перед зеркалом свейским прыщ выдавливает, Примеряет новый перстень-изумруд - и на площадь... Стеньку Разина везут!


  • Shostakovich: Cantatas — Estonian Concert Choir, ENSO Paavo Järvi Erato 2015.[2]
  • The Execution of Stephan Razin — Seattle Symphony Chorale, Seattle Symphony, Gerard Schwarz: Naxos 2006.
  • Symphony No. 12 and The Execution of Stephan Razin — Rundfunkchor & Sinfonie-orchester Leipzig, Herbert Kegel: Philips 1992.
  • Georgy Sviridov Oratorio Pathetique and Shostakovich The Execution of Stepan Razin — Varna Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, Andre Andreev (cond.) & Assen Vassilev (bass): Koch International Classics 1990.
  • Symphony No. 9 and The Execution of Stepan Razin — Moscow State Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra & Republican Russian Choir Capella, Kirill Kondrashin (cond.) & Vitali Gromadsky (bass): Melodiya 1965 (reissued as a CD in 2015 by High Definition Tape Transfers).


  1. article in Russian
  2. Wall Street Journal - May 12 2015 New Shostakovich Recordings Highlight Composer’s Ambiguity "Estonian conductor Paavo Järvi on why he was eager to perform Shostakovich works criticized for their apparent support for Stalin "

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