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 renowned composer; and a symposium during which a number of analytical concepts is utilized to chose Shostakovich works and genres. this is often the 1st entire English-language booklet in twenty-five years within 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 concepts which were utilized to Shostakovich's track, besides a few of the controversies surrounding his existence and his dating to Soviet politics. half II contains the book's primary life-and-works dialogue, uniting a entire exam of Shostakovich's compositional evolution with a whole account of his existence. Coming from a number of authors, the chapters partly III show a cross-section of analytical suggestions which can usefully be dropped at endure upon Shostakovich's song. those variety from literary and cinematically-based easy methods to the extra conventional kinds of musical research. half IV considers 3 self sustaining yet an important elements of Shostakovich's lifestyles: his contributions to the Soviet movie undefined, his profession as a pianist, and his legacy and impact as a teacher.
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Extra resources for A Shostakovich Companion
H countmg, and b oo k. h's "actuar1"al streak, " 1 1 1 an o b session wit . catalogmg, takov1c balancing, something that would manifest itself in things like his football diary in which he meticulously cataloged statistics of teams and results, an obsession that lain Strachan believes may have extended to the manipulation of opus numbers, keys, and even musical phrase lengths in order to satisfy certain mathematical and numerological precepts-perfect squares, the Pythagorean 3-4-5 triangle, Fibo nacci sequence, Gematria, etc.
7 (Galina Shostakovich) Dmitri Dmitriyevich only let it be known to his most intimate circle of friends that he listened to the BBC. 8 (Venyamin Basner, composer and friend) I sat next to him and he seemed to me the most nervous human being I've. 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.
Among their interests-shared, incidentally, by Python-was something one might term "list" humor; the comic sketch that, stripped to its essentials, amounts to nothing more than a pedantic, pseudo-erudite list of objects, people, or places. Shostakovich, along with his friend Sollertinsky, delighted in such antics, and the fact that his beloved "list" humor could be so easily converted into a serious Pravda-style report would surely have been a source of delicious irony. The letter to Glikman is, of course, a trifle, yet we have identified four currents of personality that may have collided (or, to use McBurney's term, "erupted") to create the letter: the satirization of Pravda, the "actuarial streak," the fascination with power, and FEKS-style "list" humor.
A Shostakovich Companion by Michael Mishra