By Michael Mishra
Adopting a two-books-in-one structure. The Shostakovich Companion combines a full-length, single-author exam of the lifestyles and compositional evolution of the Soviet Union's most renowned composer; and a symposium during which a number of analytical strategies is utilized to chose Shostakovich works and genres. this can be the 1st entire English-language publication in twenty-five years during which the first emphasis is on musical concerns, and the secondary emphasis is at the biographical and much-debated political issues.
The The Shostakovich Companion is split into 4 elements. half I considers the hermeneutic recommendations which have been utilized to Shostakovich's tune, besides a number of the controversies surrounding his lifestyles and his courting to Soviet politics. half II contains the book's relevant life-and-works dialogue, uniting a entire exam of Shostakovich's compositional evolution with a whole account of his existence. Coming from a number of authors, the chapters partially III exhibit a cross-section of analytical recommendations that can usefully be delivered to endure upon Shostakovich's song. those diversity from literary and cinematically-based tips on how to the extra conventional forms of musical research. half IV considers 3 autonomous yet the most important elements of Shostakovich's existence: his contributions to the Soviet movie undefined, his profession as a pianist, and his legacy and effect as a teacher.
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Dmitry Shostakovich's memoirs, Testimony, `related to and edited via Solomon Volkov', were the topic of fierce debate on account that their book in 1979. was once Testimony a forgery, made up by way of an impudent impostor, or was once it the deathbed confession of a tendency, yet unbroken, guy? Even now, years after the autumn of the communist regime, a coterie of well-placed Western musicologists have frequently raised objections to Testimony, hoping with each one assault to undermine the image of Shostakovich offered in his memoirs that of a guy of huge ethical stature, bitterly disenchanted with the Soviet process.
Extra info for A Shostakovich Companion
Nevertheless, his "shows of solemn conformism to the point of absurdity" were familiar enough to those who knew him well. A striking display can be found in the oft-cited letter to Isaak Glikman, dated 29 December 1 957, in which Shostakovich describes the festivities celebrating the fortieth anniversary of the Soviet annexation of Ukraine: Dear Isaak Davydovich! I arrived in Odessa on the day of the nationwide holiday celebrating the 40th anniver sary of the founding of Soviet Ukraine. 1his morning I went out in the streets; you will .
The technique was devel oped to a high point of subtlety long before it found triumphant confirmation in the Shostakovich "memoirs" . . 90 In 2000, Lebrecht revisited the topic, his former bipolar approach ("Shosta kovich East" and "Shostakovich West") now expanded: There are four ways of conducting a Shostakovich symphony. The official Soviet method, happily a thing of the past, involved much oom-pah and precious little ru bato. The dissident school, led by such defectors as Rostropovich, Kyril Kondrashin and Shostakovich's son, Maxim, leaned too much the ocher way and seemed to he underscoring every other phrase with political intent.
67 For Taruskin, dissidence is necessar ily a post-Stalinist phenomenon; since open dissent was simply not possible during the Stalin years, at least if one wished to survive, to claim Shostakovich as a dissident is to express a historical impossibility, however well intentioned. " 6 8 If we agree with Taruskin that "dissidence" has a meaning that is precise and limited-the open expression of dissent-and that the popularly promoted idea of "secret" dissidence is, by definition, oxymoronic, we may instead prefer, as David Fanning does, Mark Aranovsky's characterization of Shostakovich as inakomyslyash chii, 69 which Fanning describes as "literally 'the otherwise-thinker', which implies something rather stronger than the Western 'non-conformist' but not so strong as 'dissident' in the narrow sense.