Shostakovich

13 Days When Music Changed Forever - Program 12:<br>January 28, 1936: Stalin Condemns "Lady MacBeth of Mtsensk"

The publication in Pravda of the article, “Chaos Instead of Music,” signaling Stalin’s displeasure with Shostakovich’s “Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk” and leading to the composer’s “redemption” in his 5th Symphony. A program about Shostakovich and the sometimes mutually beneficial, sometimes terrifying relationship between music and the totalitarian state.

AIR-DATE
Friday, April 1, 2011 at (All day)
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0

Shostakovich: Symphony Number 5
Musical Precedent

The way Shostakovich introduces his first motives gives us a hint as to their meaning. As the movement progresses, however, he transforms these motives in dramatic ways, changing things like tempo, instrumentation, dynamics, setting. Does doing so change their meanings as well?


AIR-DATE
October 2009
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0

Shostakovich: Symphony Number 5 - Testimony - A Telling Opening Theme

Few pieces in history have been so dependent on historical context. Contemporary writings by Shostakovich’s family, friends, colleagues, even some by the composer himself, help us understand the dramatic personal, professional and political forces that shaped his message.


AIR-DATE
October 2009
COMMENTS
3

Shostakovich: Symphony Number 5
Investigations

INVESTIGATING specific compositional techniques Shostakovich uses can help us better understand his musical language.


AIR-DATE
October 2009
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0

Shostakovich: Symphony Number 5
4th Movement - The Final March

Shostakovich ended his symphony with a march, a guaranteed Stalin favorite. But the score reveals details that may suggest a less-than celebratory finale.


AIR-DATE
October 2009
COMMENTS
5

Shostakovich: Symphony Number 5
2nd Movement - A Musical Joke?

Literally meaning ‘joke,’ the scherzo has often been a place where composers feel free to have some fun. Given the circumstances, does Shostakovich dare joke? And if so, about what and with whom is he joking?


AIR-DATE
October 2009
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0

Shostakovich: Symphony Number 5
1st Movement - An Altered Folk Song

The score contains musical clues that can help us decipher Shostakovich’s intentions.


AIR-DATE
October 2009
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0

Shostakovich: Symphony Number 5
1st Movement - A Telling Opening Theme

Composers often build first themes from pregnant filled with possibilities for what the symphony is about. What can we learn from the motives that comprise Shostakovich’s first theme?


AIR-DATE
October 2009
COMMENTS
2

Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5

In 1937 Russia, at the height of Stalin’s purges, the Communist Party strongly denounced Dmitri Shostakovich’s most recent works. Fearing for his life, the young composer wrote a symphony ending with a rousing march.


AIR-DATE
October 2009
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0

Shostakovich - Opinions - A Telling Opening Theme

Following its premiere there was widespread speculation—from an ‘official’ review by Alexei Tolstoy to Shostakovich’s son Maxim’s remarks many years later-—about just what Shostakovich was saying. Reading how others interpreted the music may help you decide what you think this controversial symphony means.


AIR-DATE
October 2009
COMMENTS
2
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