The score for The Golden Mountains (1931) was the third film for which Dmitri Shostakovich provided music. The music is more symphonic than his earlier scores and it was his second scored that was recorded, rather than played during the running of the film. The story of the film was inspired by a strike at an ironworks in 1905 that sparked other strikes. The Waltz is one of the more famous pieces from the score and features a Hawaiian guitar. Shostakovich created a suite from the music which was premiered by the Bolshoi Orchestra.
Volochayev Days (1937) was composed following the debacle over Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk when Shostakovich had to take what composing jobs he could find. The film is set in 1918 when the Japanese launched an attack on Vladivostok (along with the British and Americans). There are two battle scenes in the film, one of which has a melody that the composer later used in the finale of his Sixth Symphony. The music recorded for this disc (a premiere recording) is not a suite by the composer but three short pieces taken from the original music - an overture, with a sprightly march theme, music depicting a Japanese attack and a fragment that seems to herald a victory.
The music from The Gadfly has several recordings and receives a very fine one from the BBC Philharmonic. The film was produced in 1955 and is based on a novel by English author Ethel Voynich. The story concerns an illegitimate son of a Cardinal who joins the fight for the unification of Italy and the self-sacrifice of the lead character. The suite was cobbled together from the film music by Lev Atovmian and has been very popular in concert performances. The suite has some lovely music with the Romance being the best known but many other parts of the suits, the Overture, Contradance, Folk Festival and Barrel-organ Waltz, to name just three, are wonderfully tuneful.
The performance of the music by Vassily Sinaisky conducting the BBC Philharmonic is first rate and the recording is clear and superbly balanced. If you already have The Gadfly (this is performance is certainly worth having) you should have this disc for The Golden Mountains and Volochayev Days.