Shostakovich 4

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slofstra
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Re: Shostakovich 4

Post by slofstra » Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:56 am

karlhenning wrote:
slofstra wrote:
became redundanted
Is that a word? Strangely enough, I know what you mean. If it is a verb, shouldn't you then say, "was redundanted", either that or "became redundant"?
I haven't heard anyone other than myself use it (nor am I sure it's proper to say I hear myself use it). So I shan't hazard a guess on how it ought properly to be inflected ; )
slofstra wrote:
Maksim Dmitriyevich
This is Maxim Shostakovich, right? Was it a riddle? Do I get a prize? :)
You are right (the second name in Russian is a patronymic, and so means Maxim, the son of Dmitri). You get this week's prize, a jar of pickled herring! ; )

Cheers,
~Karl
I really hope it is a Dutch brand of pickled herring. :)

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Re: Shostakovich 4

Post by Chalkperson » Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:32 pm

slofstra wrote:
karlhenning wrote:
slofstra wrote:
became redundanted
Is that a word? Strangely enough, I know what you mean. If it is a verb, shouldn't you then say, "was redundanted", either that or "became redundant"?
I haven't heard anyone other than myself use it (nor am I sure it's proper to say I hear myself use it). So I shan't hazard a guess on how it ought properly to be inflected ; )
slofstra wrote:
Maksim Dmitriyevich
This is Maxim Shostakovich, right? Was it a riddle? Do I get a prize? :)
You are right (the second name in Russian is a patronymic, and so means Maxim, the son of Dmitri). You get this week's prize, a jar of pickled herring! ; )

Cheers,
~Karl
I really hope it is a Dutch brand of pickled herring. :)
Unfortunately, it's only the tails, Karl wants you to get a taste of life in the Gulags... :mrgreen:
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karlhenning
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Re: Shostakovich 4

Post by karlhenning » Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:55 pm

Chalkperson wrote:Unfortunately, it's only the tails, Karl wants you to get a taste of life in the Gulags... :mrgreen:
Oh, you are grumpy today, mon cher! ; )

Cheers,
~k.
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston, Massachusetts
http://members.tripod.com/~Karl_P_Henning/
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
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Chalkperson
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Re: Shostakovich 4

Post by Chalkperson » Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:18 pm

karlhenning wrote:
Chalkperson wrote:Unfortunately, it's only the tails, Karl wants you to get a taste of life in the Gulags... :mrgreen:
Oh, you are grumpy today, mon cher! ; )

Cheers,
~k.
Moi, grumpy, mais non mon amie, I think you know my opinion of Shostakovich the Younger...it was also right on topic for Henry, I watched the Chicago/Haitink documentary last night, and that's where the Herring Tails reference came from... :wink:
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slofstra
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Re: Shostakovich 4

Post by slofstra » Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:46 pm

Chalkperson wrote:
karlhenning wrote:
Chalkperson wrote:Unfortunately, it's only the tails, Karl wants you to get a taste of life in the Gulags... :mrgreen:
Oh, you are grumpy today, mon cher! ; )

Cheers,
~k.
Moi, grumpy, mais non mon amie, I think you know my opinion of Shostakovich the Younger...it was also right on topic for Henry, I watched the Chicago/Haitink documentary last night, and that's where the Herring Tails reference came from... :wink:
All this is making me hungry. I've got to get some on the way home tonight. Pickled herring that is, not the tails. Did you watch the interview with Haitink? I find him quite fascinating to listen to, very modest and unassuming, and philosophical as well.

Chalkperson
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Re: Shostakovich 4

Post by Chalkperson » Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:03 pm

slofstra wrote:Did you watch the interview with Haitink? I find him quite fascinating to listen to, very modest and unassuming, and philosophical as well.
Yes, I enjoyed it, he came across very well...if you are interested in Shostakovich then you must se this Documentary, it's exceptional...

http://www.amazon.com/Shostakovich-Agai ... 579&sr=1-1
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moldyoldie
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Re: Shostakovich 4

Post by moldyoldie » Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:16 pm

Chalkperson wrote:...if you are interested in Shostakovich then you must see this Documentary, it's exceptional...

http://www.amazon.com/Shostakovich-Agai ... 579&sr=1-1
That's been on my shopping list since forever, but the Amazon description says it's only 77 minutes, is that correct? Does it offer anything more in the way of history or insights than do a few other such docs available for viewing on YouTube?

I got a kick out of Ben Kingsley's Shostakovich in Tony Palmer's somewhat surreal bio-drama Testimony.
"Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time."
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Chalkperson
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Re: Shostakovich 4

Post by Chalkperson » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:07 pm

moldyoldie wrote:
Chalkperson wrote:...if you are interested in Shostakovich then you must see this Documentary, it's exceptional...

http://www.amazon.com/Shostakovich-Agai ... 579&sr=1-1
That's been on my shopping list since forever, but the Amazon description says it's only 77 minutes, is that correct? Does it offer anything more in the way of history or insights than do a few other such docs available for viewing on YouTube?

I got a kick out of Ben Kingsley's Shostakovich in Tony Palmer's somewhat surreal bio-drama Testimony.
It's an incredible film, it may only be 77 minutes long but every second counts, it mixes History,Stalin, Shostakovich and his friends and incredible footage from the siege of Leningrad, I have shown it to many people who are not really Classical Music fans and all of them have found it fascinating and highly informative...Tony Pamer's film is very good, but this documentary sends chills down your spine, it really makes you aware of the suffering of the Russian people, the stock footage is also so patriotic and yet so real...i'll give you your money back if you don't enjoy it...
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slofstra
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Re: Shostakovich 4

Post by slofstra » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:28 pm

I've read the Elizabeth Wilson collection of letters and so on. I'm skeptical of views of the "subversive" Shostakovich. I'm pretty sure that he did not like/ hated Stalin, but who didn't. As I've mentioned before, just how subversive can orchestral music be?

piston
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Re: Shostakovich 4

Post by piston » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:56 pm

I don't think it is a question of subversive classical music. Rather, it's a question of popularity and how can popularity be controlled, or extinguished, in a fascist state. It's a no-brainer to state that Stalin had serious psychological issues. For instance, he wouldn't touch the extremely popular Maria Yudina presumably because she had some kind of spiritual power. The other remarkable woman whose submerged subversive poetic work could not have escaped his attention is Anna Akmatova. I've read the English translation of some of her poems and they just explode in one's face! But beware of the ascending artistic reputation of the likes of Shostakovich! It isn't that he was overtly subversive like Akmatova; rather, he was just getting too popular for Stalin's paranoid mind. What can a popular individual such as Dmitri do to me? How can he use his music to undermine me? I have to control him! He must celebrate me!!
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

John F
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Re: Shostakovich 4

Post by John F » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:58 am

No question but that the only cult of personality allowed in Stalin's Soviet Union was of Stalin himself, and the inclusion of Prokofiev in the Zhdanov anti-formulist denunciation of 1948 can only be interpreted as showing him his place. After all, he had only recently received official approval of his 5th Symphony and Stalin Prizes for the 7th and 8th sonatas, and the 9th sonata and 6th symphony were little different, though perhaps not the heroic celebrations that were looked for after the victory in World War II. Putting Shostakovich in his place was doubtless one of the reasons why he was condemned, twice, by Stalin and his minions.

But the Shostakovich case is more complicated. Stalin's musical taste, though genuine (like Hitler, he cared much more about classical music than his underlings), was conventional and indeed conservative, and so was his sense of sexual morality. Both were offended by "Lady Macbeth of Mzensk," which he attended but left before the end - I'd guess soon after the scene in Act 3 that lampoons the police. "Muddle Instead of Music" followed almost immediately, and it's not about killing Shostakovich's popularity, or not only about that, but a direct response to what is actually there in the libretto and the music - if you omit Act 4, as Stalin did that night.

The Communist regime, like the Nazi regime, had a strong and narrow concept of the esthetics of art and the role of artists in society. Shostakovich repeatedly failed to conform, notably in the 9th Symphony of 1945 whose cheeky, nose-thumbing first movement was taken as his public response to the war just won, and found unacceptable as such. Whether Shostakovich intended, by this failure to meet expectations and requirements, to show dissent from the Soviet way, consciously or otherwise, is beside the point - it could be and evidently was taken as a form of dissent, and Shostakovich paid the price.
John Francis

piston
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Re: Shostakovich 4

Post by piston » Tue Mar 16, 2010 6:05 am

Much of the Stalinist reaction against several Soviet composers in 1948 was a political, not an aesthetic reaction. How else can one explain their blacklisting of Myaskovsky, their initial attack on Muradeli's opera, The Great Friendship, and their inclusion of Khachaturian (and according to some sources the initial inclusion of Kabalevsky). In contrast to Shostakovich, Popov and Prokofiev, none of these composers are noteworthy for their "modernist" tendencies (certainly not the Myaskovsky of the 1940s!).

Stalin reportedly disliked Muradeli's opera for its political interpretation of Ossetian/Georgian political affairs and for Muradeli's personal take on Georgian folk songs! Myaskovsky was blacklisted because his artistic contribution to the 30th anniversary of the October Revolution was seen as too "pessimistic" in tone. And, if the Kabalevsky story is accurate, he lobbied to get his name removed from the original black list by targeting the lesser known Popov, in effect denouncing another composer.

There's more than one dimension to the 1948 Soviet cultural repression and, often times, the music itself is irrelevant.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

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Re: Shostakovich 4

Post by moldyoldie » Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:18 pm

Chalkperson wrote:...i'll give you your money back if you don't enjoy it...
'Tis a deal! :wink:
"Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time."
- Steve Wright

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Re: Shostakovich 4

Post by karlhenning » Tue Mar 16, 2010 6:19 pm

Yes . . . the melodramatic, "smack-down" title notwithstanding, Shostakovich Against Stalin is well worth viewing.

In a curious coincidence, I am about to view perhaps my first Tony Palmer movie . . . 200 Motels ; )

Cheers,
~Karl
Karl Henning, PhD
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston, Massachusetts
http://members.tripod.com/~Karl_P_Henning/
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
Published by Lux Nova Press
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Re: Shostakovich 4

Post by Chalkperson » Tue Mar 16, 2010 7:46 pm

karlhenning wrote:Yes . . . the melodramatic, "smack-down" title notwithstanding, Shostakovich Against Stalin is well worth viewing.

In a curious coincidence, I am about to view perhaps my first Tony Palmer movie . . . 200 Motels ; )

Cheers,
~Karl
I saw it when it first came out, I have never re-visited it... :mrgreen:
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