The animated film "The Tale of the Priest and His Worker Balda" based on the fairy tale by A. S. Pushkin was to become the first full-length film by Tsekhanovskiy and the fifth film written by Dmitriy Shostakovich. Work on the film began in 1933. The animation for the film was shot almost completely, and deposited in the Lenfilm archive, where it was destroyed in a fire caused by the bombing of Leningrad at the beginning of the Great Patriotic War in 1941. Of the feature film, only a six-minute fragment of Bazar with verses by Aleksandr Vvedenskiy and Shostakovich's unfinished and fragmented score is preserved.
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The film was intended to be an animated opera with original music. The young composer Dmitri Shostakovich (26-years-old when production began) was hired to compose the music to which all the scenes would be based on. He worked on the film for 4 years, composing an entire 50-minutes long symphony. In 1936, Shostakovich fell out of favor with Soviet leader Joseph Stalin and his works were denounced. His music could not be used for the film, which was shelved. Shostakovich kept his score for the film in his private papers. It was posthumously publicized by his family, first published in book form in 2005, and first performed in 2006. See more
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