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New PDF release: A Shostakovich Companion

By Michael Mishra

ISBN-10: 031330503X

ISBN-13: 9780313305030

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 renowned composer; and a symposium within which quite a few analytical strategies is utilized to chose Shostakovich works and genres. this can be the 1st entire 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 elements. half I considers the hermeneutic options which have been utilized to Shostakovich's track, besides many of the controversies surrounding his existence and his courting to Soviet politics. half II includes the book's critical life-and-works dialogue, uniting a accomplished exam of Shostakovich's compositional evolution with an entire account of his lifestyles. Coming from quite a few authors, the chapters partially III reveal a cross-section of analytical suggestions which may usefully be delivered to endure upon Shostakovich's track. those variety from literary and cinematically-based tips on how to the extra conventional varieties of musical research. half IV considers 3 self sufficient yet an important features of Shostakovich's lifestyles: his contributions to the Soviet movie undefined, his occupation as a pianist, and his legacy and effect as a teacher.

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Additional resources for A Shostakovich Companion

Sample text

Naturally, today is the happiest day of my life: the day on which I have seen and heard Stalin. 6 5 Of course, any act of "solemn conformism" can be justified as ketman. The principal virtue of ketman is stealth, making its presence hard to prove and impos­ sible to disprove. So, are we guilty of invoking ketman simply to fend off awkward moral questions? The musicologist Richard Taruskin believes we may actually have gone one step further, not only by fabricating a mythic image of the Brave Shosta­ kovich but also, to put it crudely, by attempting to make Shostakovich look more like "us," or at least "us" as we would wish to think of ourselves were we in his sit­ uation.

A summary of his life . . "53 Beyond this, some have even wondered whether Shostakovich may have been indulging, consciously or subcon­ sciously, in a death-bed, guilt-expiating revision of his own image for the sake of posterity. 54 But the most serious and disturbing charge concerns the book's very authenticity. 55 But shortly after publication, Simon Karlinsky and subsequently Laurel Fay discovered passages, amounting to entire pages, which had appeared to have been lifted without attribution from previously published sources.

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.

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A Shostakovich Companion by Michael Mishra


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