Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) has a reputation as one of the leading composers of the twentieth century. But the story of his controversial role in history is still being told, and his full measure as a musician still being taken. This collection of essays goes far in expanding the traditional purview of Shostakovich's world, exploring the composer's creativity and art iDmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) has a reputation as one of the leading composers of the twentieth century. But the story of his controversial role in history is still being told, and his full measure as a musician still being taken. This collection of essays goes far in expanding the traditional purview of Shostakovich's world, exploring the composer's creativity and art in terms of the expectations--historical, cultural, and political--that forged them.The collection contains documents that appear for the first time in English. Letters that young "Miti" wrote to his mother offer a glimpse into his dreams and ambitions at the outset of his career. Shostakovich's answers to a 1927 questionnaire reveal much about his formative tastes in the arts and the way he experienced the creative process. His previously unknown letters to Stalin shed new light on Shostakovich's position within the Soviet artistic elite.The essays delve into neglected aspects of Shostakovich's formidable legacy. Simon Morrison provides an in-depth examination of the choreography, costumes, decor, and music of his ballet The Bolt and Gerard McBurney of the musical references, parodies, and quotations in his operetta Moscow, Cheryomushki. David Fanning looks at Shostakovich's activities as a pedagogue and the mark they left on his students' and his own music. Peter J. Schmelz explores the composer's late-period adoption of twelve-tone writing in the context of the distinctively "Soviet" practice of serialism. Other contributors include Caryl Emerson, Christopher H. Gibbs, Levon Hakobian, Leonid Maximenkov, and Rosa Sadykhova. In a provocative concluding essay, Leon Botstein reflects on the different ways listeners approach the music of Shostakovich....
|Title||:||Shostakovich and His World|
|Number of Pages||:||405 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Shostakovich and His World Reviews
This is a great resource. Shostakovich and His World goes beyond the typical debate about whether or not he was a political dissident. Surely his relationship with Stalin is not the only thing that compels us to listen to his music. What influenced him? The pastiche elements in his music are mysterious, inviting every kind of musing. The first part of the book contains a few documents of personal, professional, and political nature; namely, letters to his mom, a psychological survey from his early twenties, and the only four known official letters between him and Stalin. Extremely helpful as most documents are in Russian and have yet to be translated. Part Two contains truly wonderful essays addressing different influences such as literature, pupils, and twelve-tone rows. Although for most of the book the authors seek to focus attention elsewhere, the book does end with an essay entitled "Listening to Shostakovich". As most of the contributors stand on the anti-revisionist side of the Shostakovich/Stalin debate, this final essay seeks to make a case for them. According to the author, Shostakovich was no hero, but a compromiser. He paints Shostakovich with moral ambiguity. For him, this does not detract from his music, and he compares Shostakovich to Galileo. I think the perfect quote for describing the picture of Shostakovich in this book comes from David Fanning's essay (my personal favorite):"The personal and musical significance in each case identified above can doubtless be viewed in other ways than I have suggested. But one important lesson here seems to be that Shostakovich's uniqueness has not so much to do with the invention of unprecedented themes or gestures as with the way in which he embodies them in the broader musical-dramatic flow. That is of course a truism applicable to any composer whose music has lasting value. But it is one too easily forgotten in Shostakovich's case, thanks to the vividness of his gestural language and the temptation to relate it to his painful experiences in the outside world.Not introductory material. Should a non-musician be interested in Shostakovich and stumble upon this book, she may find some of the music crit and printed scores befuddling. As a musician myself, some of it was out of my depth, partly from a lack of familiarity with some of his more obscure music. But I highly recommend it to anyone interested in this subject. There is much to learn here.
I just finished reading a novel that featured many references to Shostakovich's music, so I decided to read a bit about him. This book contains letters he wrote to his mother and essays about his music. Nice introduction to the man and his time.