A Shostakovich Companion by Michael Mishra

By Michael Mishra

Adopting a two-books-in-one layout. The Shostakovich Companion combines a full-length, single-author exam of the lifestyles and compositional evolution of the Soviet Union's most famed composer; and a symposium within which quite a few analytical thoughts is utilized to chose Shostakovich works and genres. this can be the 1st finished English-language booklet 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 components. half I considers the hermeneutic options which have been utilized to Shostakovich's tune, besides some of the controversies surrounding his existence and his dating to Soviet politics. half II contains the book's crucial life-and-works dialogue, uniting a finished exam of Shostakovich's compositional evolution with an entire account of his lifestyles. Coming from a number of authors, the chapters partially III show a cross-section of analytical thoughts that could usefully be dropped at undergo upon Shostakovich's track. those variety from literary and cinematically-based the right way to the extra conventional forms of musical research. half IV considers 3 self reliant yet the most important points 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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92 But in 1 967, he wrote: I interpret the Ninth Symphony as a work directed against philistinism, a primary "symphonic assault" that ridicules complacency and bombast, and the desire to rest on one's laurels . . 93 Indeed, Yakov Milkis, a violinist i n Mravinsky's Leningrad Philharmonic, recalled a rehearsal of the Ninth in which "he objected to the character of the sound in the celli and double basses when they play in unison with the trombones. 'You have the wrong sound. )"94 *** Although the terms "orthodox" and "dissident" have been part of the Shostako­ vich reception landscape for nearly three decades, defining what they actually mean in performance terms has proven more problematic.

Another assumption upon which the Shostakovich interpretation "industry'' seems to have been built is that a performance can "prove" a composer's intent. "95 Rostropo­ vich's view is certainly sour. In his performance, the coda grinds towards its conclusion shackled by ball and chain, the whole edifice ultimately collapsing in exhaustion under irs own weight. But even if such a performance reflects Testi­ mony's commentary (which, as argued below, is questionable) , the idea that any interpretation of a piece can be "proven" simply by creating a seemingly compati­ ble performance represents not only a disingenuous twisting of logic, but also an = 22 A Shostakovich Companion unrealistic expectation of what music-which in general is a suggestive rather than an attestive art-actually has the power to do.

G. lgnatov, Al. P. V. Kuu­ sinen, AI. A. A. A. S. M. Shvernik, AA. A. E. Kaliberzin, AP. Kirichenko, AN. T. P. G. T. Kalchenko . The streets are filled with flags, slogans, banners. All around can he seen beaming smiles on radiantly happy Russian, Ukrainian, and Jewish faces. I. I. Ye. G. I. P. V. I. A. A. A. S. M. A. A. E. P. N. T. P. G. T. S. Korochenko. Everywhere one hears the accents of Russian and Ukrainian speech, as well as from time to time the foreign tongues of those progressive representatives of mankind who have come to Odessa to salute Odessans on their great holiday.

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