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Shostakovich: Socialism, Stalin & Symphonies. 9781905192663

Shostakovich: Socialism, Stalin & Symphonies

Redwords. 2011

Ficha técnica

  • EAN: 9781905192663
  • ISBN: 978-1-905192-66-3
  • Editorial: Redwords
  • Fecha de edición: 2011
  • Encuadernación: Rústica
  • Dimensiones: 13x18
  • Idioma: Inglés
  • Nº páginas: 122


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The life and career of Dmitri Shostakovich, more than any other classical composer of the 20th century, has provided the most hotly debated meeting point between politics and art. This has mirrored the controversy surrounding the defining event in his life, and indeed of the whole 20th century: the Russian Revolution of 1917. Was he committed to the ideals of the Revolution, as he appeared to be in public, or privately an inveterate dissident? To what exent can his true political opinions or the reality of the Soviet experience be discerned in his music? Simon Behrman argues that this debate has been distorted by the widespread failure to recognise the deep chasm that separates the politics that guided the Revolution on the one hand, from the Stalinist dictatorship on the other. Only by discarding Cold War clichés and re-evaluating the history of the Revolution can the politics and music of Shostakovich be properly understood.

His struggle to maintain artistic integrity as the Revolution was replaced by a cruel dictatorship made Shostakovich a tragic figure, but also a hero to his contemporaries, fellow musicians and audience alike.

In addition, this book describes the importance of Shostakovich in transcending the artificial divide between popular and classical music.

In short, it is argued that Shostakovich was, and recognised himself as, that much-abused phrase, a true "artist of the people".



1. Classical music and revolution
2. Child of the revolution
3. The Golden Age
4. Composing a revolution
5. The end of the party
6. Terror and resistance
7. From war hero to pariah
8. The Thaw
9. Decay
Epilogue: "The Shostakovich Wars"

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