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Museum Collection

Radio Texts after the Works by M.A. Sholokhov

The Museum-Reserve of M.A.Sholokhov acquired from the writer’s relatives 17 radio texts on the works by M.A.Sholokhov (“The Quiet Don”, “They Fought for Their Country”). They were performed on the radio and in concerts by D.N.Orlov.

Dmitry Nikolayevich Orlov (8(20).5.1892 – 19.12.1955) is a Soviet theatre and cinema actor of the Russian Federation. In the 20-s he turned to declamation and in 1931, he became a famous master of artistic expression. In 1947, Orlov was awarded the USSR State Prize of the second degree in literature and art in the nomination “Concert and Performing Activities”

The works of M.A. Sholokhov were first performed by Dmitry Nikolayevich at the end of the 1939 – beginning the 1940-s. He began a series of radio programs on the novel “The Quiet Don”. At that time he got acquainted with Sholokhov. After airing of several radio programs on the novel “The Quiet Don” the writer acknowledged the actor to be an extremely sensitive artist, who comprehended the writer’s work in all its depth and truth:”You, Mitya, made me shed a tear… It is about the death of Ilyinichna…All the performance was elevated in emotion and replete. You always have a great performance, and today you were in the feature.” (From the diary of D.N.Orlov. The entry was made after a telephone talk with M.A.Sholokhov (Dmitry Nikolayevich Orlov. A Book about Art. Compiled by M.L. Satayeva. Moscow, 1962).

In 1943, after the publication of the first chapters of the novel“They Fought for Their Country” in the newspapers “Pravda”, “Krasnaya Zvezda” Dmitry Nikolayevich began working over a series of radio programs after this novel, which were going to be on air on February, 1944.

The texts of the radio programs are sheets of writing paper with a typed text on them, with ink editorial litters on the first two pages (place, time, date of the performance, surname of the performer) and with a layout for expressive reading for Dmitry Nikolayevich. A great interest to the researcher is the fact that some texts bear pencil litters (notes on the reverse of the first sheets) of D.N. Orlov, which show a careful work of the actor over the text, preparation to air, the actor’s advancing in mastery with each performance: “February,17, the 3d – Well, a fair wind to help me! Today I have made a nice reading of Sholokhov. It has come out sapid. I’ve got tired, but inwardly feel satisfied. Annuska says it is good!”

The texts of the broadcast performances are of great cultural and historical value. They can show the near work of Orlov over the performance of Sholokhov’s works, his search for the language perfection, a live content of each word, of each image to convey with Sholokhov’s details and completeness.

The texts were authenticated by the style feature of the notes (with reference to the diary entries), the condition of the paper and ink.

Nataliya Tishchenko