Dmitri Shostakovich (1906 – 1975): Russian composer and pianist.
He studied in the St.Petersburg Conservatory under the direction of Glazunov.
His 1929 ‘The Nose’ opera was bashed by Soviet artistic critics (‘bourgeoisie decadence’).
Apparently Shostakovich was terrified at the disappointment of Stalin and the other Politburo members after a bad performance of his opera ‘Lady Macbeth’. A 1936 article in Pravda called ‘Muddle instead of music’ accused Shostakovich’s music of ‘formalism’. During the 1936 Great Terror, many friends of Shostakovich were purged.
His later works, however, received more critical acclaim.
His Seventh, Eight and Ninth symphony are related to WWII.
After the 1948 Zhdanov decree, however, Shostakovich was once again of formalism and many of his works were temporarily banned.
During a 1949 cultural event in New York, Shostakovich felt embarrassed because he had to read a prepared speech and had to answer in favour of the Soviet artistic style instead of freely speaking his mind (for instance he had to admit that the approved the ban of Stravinsky’s music in the USSR, although the was inspired by Stravinsky).
After Stalin death in 1953, Shostakovich was again gradually rehabilitated as an artist.
In 1960 he joined the Communist Party.
MY FAVOURITE WORKS:
-Symphony 2 ‘October’ (1927)
-Piano Concerto 1 (1933)
-Symphony 4 (1936)
-Symphony 5 (1937)
-Symphony 7 (1941)
-Cello Concerto 1 (1959)
-N.7 fuge in A major, n.8, n.22 in g minor
-Gadfly suite (folk feast)
–Suite in F sharp minor, Op. 6: IV. Finale
-The bolt Ballet suite
-The Golden Age suite
-Hamlet suite (poisoning scene)
-Two plays by D scarlatti
-Festival Overture 96
-Lullaby for piano; Spanish Dance
-The Barricade. “The 49th day of defence”
-The fall of Berlin
-The Human Comedy
-The Limpid Stream
-Five Days and Five Nights – The Liberation of Dresden (finale)
-String Quartet 8 & 15 (serenade)
–Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57 (piano finale)
–5 Pieces for 2 Violins and Piano
-Piano trio n.2 4th Movement
–Moscow-Cheryomushki, Suite from the operetta Op.105