Dmitri Shostakovich

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Shostakovich, Dmitri

(dyĭmē`trē shŏstŏkô`vĭch), 1906–75, Russian composer, b. St. Petersburg. Shostakovich studied at the Leningrad Conservatory (1919–25). The early success of his First Symphony (1925) was confirmed by positive public reaction to two satirical works of 1930—an opera, The Nose (Leningrad; from a tale by GogolGogol, Nikolai Vasilyevich
, 1809–52, Russian short-story writer, novelist, and playwright, sometimes considered the father of Russian realism. Of Ukrainian origin, he first won literary success with fanciful and romantic tales of his native Ukraine in
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), and a ballet, The Golden Age. Shostakovich sought Soviet approval and survived the changing tides of opinion. Severely castigated after Stalin saw a 1936 production of his popular opera Lady Macbeth of the Mzensk District (1934), he was restored to favor with his powerful, traditional, yet ironic Fifth Symphony (1937). From then on he concentrated on symphonic compositions, with later, post-Stalin symphonies tending to deconstruct the traditional Beethoven model (in all, he wrote 15 symphonies) and, during the World War II, on heroic cantatas. Influenced by MahlerMahler, Gustav
, 1860–1911, composer and conductor, born in Austrian Bohemia of Jewish parentage. Mahler studied at the Univ. of Vienna and the Vienna Conservatory.
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 in his monumental symphonies, many of which include choral portions, Shostakovich was basically a Russian nationalist composer whose work represented traditional classical forms and generally remained accessibly tonal. Nonethless, his tart harmonics and musical portrayal of pain and turmoil are distinctly 20th cent. in tone. His outstanding works include 15 string quartets, a piano concerto (1933), the Piano Quintet (1940), the Eighth Symphony (1943), 24 Preludes and Fugues for Piano (1951), and the 13th Symphony, "Babi Yar" (1962).


See Testimony: The Memoirs of Dmitri Shostakovich as Related to and Edited by Solomon Volkov (1979, repr. 2000); biographies by V. I. Seroff and N. K. Shohat (1970), E. Wilson (1994), and L. E. Fay (1999); study by N. F. Kay (1971); I. MacDonald, The New Shostakovich (1990); A. B. Ho and D. Feofanov, Shostakovich Reconsidered (1998); M. H. Brown, ed., A Shostakovich Casebook (2004); L. E. Fay, ed., Shostakovich and His World (2004); S. Moshevich, Dmitri Shostakovich, Pianist (2004); S. Volkov, Shostakovich and Stalin (2004); W. Lesser, Music for Silenced Voices: Shostakovich and The Fifteen Quartets (2011).

References in periodicals archive ?
MC We have just been dealing with the same thing in Shostakovitch.
But The Ketchup Song makes The Birdie Song sound like Shostakovitch at his best.
Silvestrov seems to have a wider range of emotion to put into his music than did Shostakovitch.
As I sit evenings at my desk in our apartment in Jerusalem, the guns of Gilo, a suburb not far away, break into the sound of a Shostakovitch trio playing on the radio.
This French film, set in Russia, tells of the struggles of composer Shostakovitch during the 1944 siege of Leningrad.
So, if one discovered that Shostakovitch did not intend to express his feelings in his symphonies, for example, it would remain possible to respond to them as if he did.
From the very beginning he was amazed and inspired by Tchaikovsky, Shostakovitch (the String Quartets and the Fifth Symphony especially), Prokofiev, and Stravinsky.
It is rare to discover a one-act operatic gem that has been banned for thirty years but when it also happens to bear the stamp of Shostakovitch it is indeed an event to savour.
What really went to my heart first, more than anything else, was Dmitri Shostakovitch," del Barrio explains, "because my father had an incredible love for Russian music and French composers like Ravel and Debussy.
The songs show influences from Joni Mitchell and Kate Bush as well as Cream and Shostakovitch.
A student of Shostakovitch, she makes strict use of form and mathematical structure to define and arrange the sounds she hears in her head.
Petrenko and the RLPO continue their Shostakovitch series for Naxos with Symphonies Nos 1 and 3.