Shostakovich Symphonies and Concertos: An Owner's Manual

Front Cover
Hal Leonard Corporation, 2006 - Music - 222 pages
1 Review
Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified
(Unlocking the Masters). The fall of the Soviet empire has not diminished the popularity of Dmitri Shostakovich's great symphonies and concertos one bit, despite the fact that most literature on him neglects any substantive discussion of the music itself in favor of biographical speculation on the relationship between the composer and the political climate of the day. This is the first book to provide a detailed, descriptive analysis of the 21 symphonies and concertos, work by work, explaining not just why they are significant documents of their time and place, but why they are great music in general. This offers readers an understanding of why Shostakovich's music enjoys the enduring support of performers and listeners alike, and how it fits into the great tradition of Western classical music generally.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

The Shostakovich Question
3
Listening to Shostakovich
17
Symphony No 5 1937
21
EarlyPeriod Works
35
Symphony No 1 192425
37
Symphony No 2 To October 1927
45
Symphony No 3 The First of May 1929
49
Piano Concerto No 1 1933
53
LatePeriod Works
135
Symphony No 11 The Year 1905 1957
137
Piano Concerto No 2 1957
147
Cello Concerto No 1 1959
151
Symphony No 12 The Year 1917 1961
157
Symphony No 13 Babi Yar 1962
167
Cello Concerto No 2 1966
181
Violin Concerto No 2 1967
189

MiddlePeriod Works
59
Symphony No 4 193536
61
Symphony No 6 1939
73
Symphony No 7 Leningrad 1941
81
Symphony No 8 1943
95
Symphony No 9 1945
107
Violin Concerto No 1 194748 revised 1955
113
Symphony No 10 1953
123
Symphony No 14 1969
193
Symphony No 15 1971
201
Postlude
209
Chronology of Works
213
Summary of Individual Movement Forms
219
Selected Bibliography
221
CD Track Listing
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2006)

A child of Tsarist Russia and the Russian Revolution, Dmitri Shostakovich was born in St. Petersburg. Throughout his entire life, Shostakovich suffered from the effects of a childhood of malnutrition and disease. Despite such deprivation, he became a composer of powerful and advanced music. After studying music at the Leningrad Conservatory between 1919 and 1925, Shostakovich presented his First Symphony in 1925 to critical acclaim. In subsequent years he wrote 14 more symphonies, always attempting to follow the Communist party prescription to portray "Socialist Realism." For his efforts, however, Shostakovich was alternately reviled and hailed by the leadership of the Soviet Union. On his sixtieth birthday, he was finally honored as a Hero of Socialist Labor. Of his 15 symphonies, only the Fifth Symphony (1937) and the Tenth Symphony (1953) have gained a prominent place in concert repertoires. The Fifth Symphony is a masterpiece of symphonic composition and follows traditional symphonic construction in its movements. In the Tenth Symphony, Shostakovich introduced musical elements that he also incorporated into other compositions, notably the fifth and eighth string quartets and his concertos for violin and cello. Shostakovich wrote ballets, such as The Golden Age (1930). Many of his other works were also choreographed as ballets. He also composed an opera, Lady Macbeth of the District of Mtsensk (1930--32). Although it was condemned by Soviet authorities, who considered it full of "Western decadence," it enjoyed some success outside the Soviet Union. Shostakovich's music is remarkably consistent in style, technique, and emotional content.