A Shostakovich Companion by Michael Mishra

By Michael Mishra

Adopting a two-books-in-one structure. The Shostakovich Companion combines a full-length, single-author exam of the existence and compositional evolution of the Soviet Union's most famed composer; and a symposium during which various analytical innovations is utilized to chose Shostakovich works and genres. this is often the 1st finished English-language booklet in twenty-five years within 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 suggestions which were utilized to Shostakovich's tune, besides some of the controversies surrounding his lifestyles and his dating to Soviet politics. half II includes the book's vital life-and-works dialogue, uniting a entire exam of Shostakovich's compositional evolution with a whole account of his existence. Coming from various authors, the chapters partly III exhibit a cross-section of analytical suggestions which may usefully be dropped at undergo upon Shostakovich's song. those diversity from literary and cinematically-based tips on how to the extra conventional different types of musical research. half IV considers 3 self sufficient yet an important elements of Shostakovich's existence: his contributions to the Soviet movie undefined, his occupation as a pianist, and his legacy and impression as a teacher.

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Greetings telegrams and birthday cards. He would always keep an eye on: whether the postal service was working properly. 7 (Galina Shostakovich) Dmitri Dmitriyevich only let it be known to his most intimate circle of friends that he listened to the BBC. 8 (Venyamin Basner, composer and friend) I sat next to him and he seemed to me the most nervous human being I've. ever seen. He went through absolute hell under Stalin . . We would be there talking, and then he'd be very warm and friendly, and suddenly the head of what they call the Compos­ er's Union would appear in the background and immediately he'd freeze up like that.

If so, what did it mean before? Noth­ ing? Of course, it meant something and now it means something-expanded. But, apart from that musical pun, it means what it always meant, which is something strange, something which makes the music explore itsel£ . . It's like a body in search of a soul. That hasn't changed. It's just that now we know a little more about what was- on the composer's mind. . Anything a composer says about what was on his or her mind at the time is only a partial representation of the truth.

Today I had the enormous pleasure of attending the closing session of the Congress of Stakhanovites. On the podium I saw Comrade Stalin and Comrades Molotov, Kaganovich, Voroshilov, Ordzhonikidze, Kalinin, Kosior, Mikoyan, Posryshev, Chubar, Andreyev, and Zhdanov. I heard speeches from Comrades Stalin, Voroshilov, and Shvernik. I was utterly captivated by Voroshilov, but when I heard Stalin speak I completely lost all sense of proportion, joined the entire hall full of people shouting "hurrah," and could not stop applauding him .

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