This treasure trove of Shostakovich rarities presents four world premiére recordings. The music for the film 'The Girlfriends', newly reconstructed from various original sources including the 1934 soundtrack and a number of recently discovered 'Preludes', and the scores for the stage productions of 'Salute to Spain' and 'Rule, Britannia!', come from one of the most fertile and brilliant periods of the composer's creative life and are almost completely unknown. The unfinished symphonic movement from 1945, that had lain hidden for more than half a century, turns out to be Shostakovich's first idea for his 'Ninth Symphony'.
''Shostakovich's film score The Girlfriends is among Naxos' most enterprising recent releases, not least for including the tantalising torso of a very different 'ninth symphony'. Excellent direction from Mark Fitz-Gerald - a conductor we should hear more of on disc.'' --Gramophone (Richard Whitehouse, December 2009)