By Michael Mishra

ISBN-10: 031330503X

ISBN-13: 9780313305030

Adopting a two-books-in-one layout. 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 quite a few analytical concepts is utilized to chose Shostakovich works and genres. this is often the 1st complete English-language publication in twenty-five years during which the first emphasis is on musical matters, 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 thoughts which were utilized to Shostakovich's tune, in addition to a number of the controversies surrounding his existence and his courting to Soviet politics. half II includes the book's important life-and-works dialogue, uniting a entire exam of Shostakovich's compositional evolution with an entire account of his lifestyles. Coming from various authors, the chapters partially III reveal a cross-section of analytical thoughts which may usefully be dropped at undergo upon Shostakovich's song. those diversity from literary and cinematically-based easy methods to the extra conventional varieties of musical research. half IV considers 3 self reliant 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 impression as a teacher.

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Ros­ tropovich's wife, the soprano Galina Vishnevskaya, has stated her interpretation of this coda, one that also seems to describe Rostropovich's performance: Beneath the triumphant blare of the trumpets, beneath the endlessly repeated A in the violins, like nails being pounded into one's brain-we hear a desecrated Russia, violated by her own sons, wailing and writhing in agony, nailed to the Cross, bemoaning the fact that she will survive her defilement. 9 6 *** If the musical debates during the 1 980s focused on the meaning of certain key Shostakovich works and how that meaning might be brought out in performance, the debates during the 1 990s were dominated by Ian MacDonald's book, The New Shostakovich, which took the by-then accepted notion of Shostakovich as a chronicler of his times and controversially used it as a springboard for an unashamedly metaphorical approach to musical commentary.

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. I felt very badly and awfully touched, because i liked him. 9 (Roger Sessions, American composer) His face was a bag of tics and grimaces: he would either twitch his lower lip, or unex­ pectedly blink, or keep correcting his glasses or stroke his hair, which, as a result, was in a state of permanent chaos.

Shostakovich initially opposed the revisions, since the topic of compli­ city was at the very heart of the movement, but he eventually conceded in order to ensure the survival of the Symphony and this, his most public indictment · against anti-Semitism. Such compromise was, of course, the very thing that was railed against in the Symphony's finale ("A Career") . ) , the composer appears to point the finger at least partly at himself and the compromises that he had had to make over the course of his career, a piece of self-indictment seemingly reinforced by his subsequent re-use of the same music in his autobiographical skit, Preface to the Complete Collection of my WOrks, and Brief Reflectiom on This Preface ( 1 966; see Chapter 9) .

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