Born in 1906, Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich was a prodigious child as both pianist and composer. It’s turning out pretty gloomy.’ The second half of the piece is certainly much more tragic in vein. Did the masterpieces that followed need the conflict, tension, and suffering of his time before they could flower from the composer’s pen? Here, Shostakovich brings his emotions back under control and turns to mockery. 1, Beethoven Piano Sonata no. 1, and the Symphony … ‘Sometimes I just want to shout. But unlike its predecessor, this was not a commissioned piece and, as such, it raises interesting questions about the composer’s freely made decision to celebrate the international labour movement’s May Day celebrations. Dmitri Shostakovich, Soundtrack: Children of Men. Peaceful development is a most intense struggle.’ He was born Dmitri Dmitrievich Shostakovich on September 25, 1906, in St. Petersburg, Russia. Shostakovich had started to experience some of that ‘struggle’ first-hand. 2 (Shostakovich) Last updated February 10, 2020. While Prokofiev’s second symphony was a head scratcher not only for the audience but the composer himself, it has gained recognition in more recent times as a blisteringly intense, genius work, at least by some. It is a radically different work than his first symphony, which is a marvelously successful work that to me gives us far better glimpses into who the composer would later mature into than either of these works we’ll discuss. His friend and dedicatee of the First Symphony, Mikhail Kvadri, had recently been arrested and shot for ‘counterrevolutionary activity’; the dedication was officially removed from the score. The worst thing about it is the actual close. Find album reviews, stream songs, credits and award information for Shostakovich: … Or is Shostakovich simply trying to draw a clearly defined line between the music he wanted to write and the music he had to write? Maybe it was this combination of views that allowed him to write music that spoke to so many, and offended so few. 5 in A, K. 219, ‘Turkish’. Solomon Volkov, of the second symphony’s finale. Wiki mentions “the notion of “industrial” symphonies intended to inspire the proletariat.” Thank goodness that phase is over. It would also be impossible for Muzsektor to turn it down, and was guaranteed at least some friendly press. 2 & 3 - Amazon.com Music 2. Shostakovich had given them their forced happy ending, a secret testament to the horrors of life under Stalin. All this darkness suffocates me. I agree with you utterly about the merits of no.3 (although I hope I’m not pre-empting what you yourself were going to say about it) – if ever there was a case of giving the authorities exactly what they wanted, in the form of a here-today-gone-tomorrow Socialist Realist musical slogan (albeit giving it voluntarily, which is savagely ironic given how they damn near broke him over the course of later life for daring to write anything other)! It could be that his choice of key was even intended as a public show of respect for Beethoven, who used the same heroic tonality for his own Third Symphony. After composing the first two movements, Shostakovich wrote to a friend that it would be more fitting to call the work a ‘symphony-grotesque’. 93 (1953) 2 - Symphony #5 in D minor, Op. Whatever the answers to those questions are, it is hard to misunderstand the composer’s feelings at the end of the piece. Dmitri Shostakovich, Mstislav Rostropovich, London Symphony Orchestra - Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. According to the poet Mayakovsky, artists should ‘spit out the past like a bone stuck in our throats… Our duty is to blare like brass-throated horns in the fogs of bourgeois vulgarity.’ Is this the explanation behind the extraordinary factory siren that heralds in the arrival of the chorus and their ‘abominable’ words? However, his Piano Concerto No.2 is a gloriously free, wistful creation – particularly in the famous second movement, which guarantees the whole work’s enduring popularity. 9 thoughts on “ Seeking Shostakovich: Listening to the Tenth Symphony (Part 2 of 2) ” T. March 31, 2014 at 3:19 AM It is so refreshing and lovely to read about you wanting joy for Shostakovich, because of your experience with his music. Written at the age of eighteen, Shostakovich’s First Symphony was the graduation piece that completed his studies at the Leningrad Conservatory. Later on in his 10th Symphony (the 3rd movement) there is a little tune which is made from the letters of his name and another tune made up from the name of his secret girlfriend. 2013 Preview SONG TIME Piano Concerto No. The composer’s next major work was his Symphony No. The idea of October was not necessarily the same thing as its reality. (This was not performed until 1961, during the Kruschev era.) 2 in 1967 for David Oistrakh, to whom the score is dedicated.It was meant to be a gift for the violinist’s sixtieth birthday, September 30, 1968; … ( Log Out / Beethoven was upheld as the artist most completely in tune with the social aspirations of his time and it was felt by many post-Revolutionary Russians that his death marked the start of the decline of the symphony as an art form altogether – one that could never be resurrected under the rampant capitalism of the west. © Mark Wigglesworth 2012. If we think about it more like a Strauss tone poem than a Shostakovich symphony, maybe it’ll seem more convincing. This is the Shostakovich Symphony 5 violin excerpt from mvt 1, Rehearsal number 32 until 36. 20 ‘The First of May’ Find album reviews, stream songs, credits and award information for Shostakovich: Symphony No. Stalin’s grip on power was starting to make itself felt. Initially described by the composer as a symphonic poem, the piece was eventually entitled ‘Symphonic Dedication – To October’. Shostakovich wrote that ‘whereas in October, the main content is struggle, May expresses the festive spirit of peaceful development… This does not mean that the music in May is all glorifying and celebratory. Cellist/conductor Mstislav Rostropovich, who knew Shostakovich well, took a more universal approach when he said the Eleventh is “a symphony written in blood, a truly tragic work. 11 in G minor, Op. So he’s got plenty to enjoy. Shostakovich Symphony No.5 London Symphony Orchestra & Maxim Shostakovich Shostakovich: Symphony No. 14, ‘To October’, View fugueforthought’s profile on Facebook, View fugueforthought’s profile on Twitter, Lisa Casal-Galietta: A (Red) Door to Classical Music, Follow Fugue for Thought on WordPress.com, Beethoven Piano Sonata no. Composed at the age of 18, Shostakovich’s First Symphony was written to fulfill the graduation requirements of the Leningrad Conservatory (earning him the equivalent of a college music degree), and would take the international music world by storm the following year. It received its premiere on November 5, 1927 with the Leningrad Philharmonic under Nikolai Malko. The symphony opens with a virtuosic brilliance heavily influenced by Stravinsky’s Petrushka. Symphony No. I have multiple times now put on this work while I’m doing other things, and promptly forgot anything was playing and suddenly started hearing strings. Mozart’s expressive 29th symphony was penned by the 18-year-old wunderkind after his visit to Vienna. Shostakovich was to use this form with great power in a number of other situations, including the Trio No. Shostakovich was bitterly attacked in the official press, and both the opera and the still unperformed Symphony No. 12 in D minor, Op. The piece begins almost imperceptibly. But for Shostakovich, it need not have been a question of one or the other. Alban Berg was even moved to write a flattering letter of appreciation. 9 in E, op. The work was composed for the tenth anniversary of the October Revolution. 3. ( Log Out / This apparent contradiction was a personality trait that would stay with him his whole life, and the sometimes juddering juxtaposition of the lighted-hearted with the profound marked his compositions from the very beginning. It is not obvious whether this embarrassment was musical or political, but in Shostakovich’s case, the two were normally connected. It is possible that within this increasingly fearful climate, Shostakovich decided to set Semyon Kirsanov’s unashamedly proletarian text in order to remain on good terms with the authorities. This is followed by the most forced of perorations maybe ever written in music history. 2 Seattle Symphony Judith Fong Conductor Emeritus Ludovic Morlot conducts the Seattle Symphony in music by Caroline Shaw, Shostakovich and Beethoven featuring cellist Alisa Weilerstein on Thursday, November 12, 2020 at 7:30pm on Seattle Symphony Live . He came to grow tired of, if not entirely resent, composing the work, and thought very little of the text, but it was eventually completed. It’s about 20-ish seconds, depending on ambient noise, before you hear the low mumbles of the ensemble in this first and longest movement. 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