Article

Dmitry Shostakovich

Pauline Fairclough

in Music

ISBN: 9780199757824
Published online June 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199757824-0018
Dmitry Shostakovich

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Shostakovich’s music and life have been more tightly interconnected in the public imagination than that of almost any other composer, and not without reason. Because of the constraints of the Soviet system, commentators in both East and West have often assumed his music must “mean” something with political implications: it has rarely been accepted on any other terms. In the immediate aftermath of the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991, there was a move—both in Russia but more markedly in the West—to consolidate claims that Shostakovich was a “dissident” as an attempt to create distance between an established “great composer” and the dishonored political system that supported him. This debate, like those over the original source of this idea— Shostakovich’s purported memoir Testimony—has eased in recent years, as new research about Shostakovich and his music has assumed much greater significance than guesswork and speculation. Factual information about his life and career continues to be uncovered, while the precious memories of those who knew him have been meticulously preserved, a process that is ongoing. The following entries represent a wide spectrum of writings, films, websites, and broadcast media and aim to guide the reader to the most important and representative sources in each topic.

Article.  10734 words. 

Subjects: Music ; Applied Music ; Ethnomusicology ; Music Theory and Analysis ; Musicology and Music History ; Music Education and Pedagogy

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