Shostakovich and Stalin ePUB
by Solomon Volkov
Music illuminates a person and provides him with his last hope; even Stalin, a butcher, knew that. So said the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich, whose first compositions in the 1920s identified him as an avant-garde wunderkind. But that same singularity became a liability a decade later under the totalitarian rule of Stalin, with his unpredictable grounds for the persecution of artists. Solomon Volkov who cowrote Shostakovich s controversial 1979 memoir, "Testimony "describes how this lethal uncertainty affected the composer s life and work.
Volkov, an authority on Soviet Russian culture, shows us the holy fool in Shostakovich: the truth speaker who dared to challenge the supreme powers. We see how Shostakovich struggled to remain faithful to himself in his music and how Stalin fueled that struggle: one minute banning his work, the next encouraging it. We see how some of Shostakovich s contemporaries Mandelstam, Bulgakov, and Pasternak among them fell victim to Stalin s manipulations and how Shostakovich barely avoided the same fate. And we see the psychological price he paid for what some perceived as self-serving aloofness and others saw as rightfully defended individuality.
This is a revelatory account of the relationship between one of the twentieth century s greatest composers and one of its most infamous tyrants. "From the Hardcover edition.""
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