Contemplating Shostakovich: Life, Music and Film.

Ivashkin, Alexander V. and Kirkman, Andrew, eds. 2012. Contemplating Shostakovich: Life, Music and Film. Farnham: Ashgate. ISBN 978-1-4094-3937-0 [Edited Book]

IVASHKIN JKT(240X159)(1).pdf - Cover Image

Download (3MB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

Contemplating Shostakovich marks an important new stage in the understanding of Shostakovich and his working environment. Each chapter covers aspects of the composer's output in the context of his life and cultural milieu. The contributions uncover 'outside' stimuli behind Shostakovich's works, allowing the reader to perceive the motivations behind his artistic choices; at the same time, the nature of those choices offers insights into the workings of the larger world – cultural, social, political – that he inhabited. Thus his often ostensibly quirky choices are revealed as responses – by turns sentimental, moving, sardonic and angry – to the particular conditions, with all their absurdities and contradictions, that he had to negotiate. Here we see the composer emerging from the role of tortured loner of older narratives into that of the gregarious and engaged member of his society that, for better and worse, characterized the everyday reality of his life.

This invaluable collection offers remarkable new insight, in both depth and range, into the nature of Shostakovich's working circumstances and of his response to them. The collection contains the seeds for a wide range of new directions in the study of Shostakovich's works and the larger contexts of their creation and reception.

Contents: Contemplating Shostakovich: life, music, films, Alexander Ivashkin and Andrew Kirkman; Part I Music and Style: Through the looking glass: reflections on the significance of words and symbols in Shostakovich’s music, Elizabeth Wilson; Shostakovich, old believers and new minimalists, Alexander Ivashkin; Five Satires (Pictures of the Past) by Dmitrii Shostakovich (op. 109): the musical unity of a vocal cycle, Gilbert Rappaport; Moving towards an understanding of Shostakovich’s Viola Sonata, Ivan Sokolov, translated by Elizabeth Wilson. Part II Film: Madness by design? Hamlet’s state as defined through music, Erik Heine; Stalin (and Lenin) in Shostakovich’s cinema, John Riley; Hamlet, King Lear and their companions: the other side of film music, Olga Dombrovskaia. Part III Life and Documents: Arrangements for Piano Four Hands in Dmitrii Shostakovich’s creative work and performance, Inna Barsova; Shostakovich and Soviet Eros: forbidden fruit in the realm of communal Communism, Vladimir Orlov; A Soviet opera in America, Terry Klefstad; Shostakovich in mid-1930s: operatic plans and their realization (autograph of unknown opera by the composer), Olga Digonskaia, translated by Stephen Dinkeldein; Index.

Item Type:

Edited Book

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Music > Centre for Russian Music


December 2012

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

01 Oct 2012 14:33

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 15:45


View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)