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August 2005



For this authoritative post-cold-war biography of Shostakovich's illustrious but turbulent career under Soviet rule, Laurel E. Fay has gone back to primary documents: Shostakovich's many letters, concert programs and reviews, newspaper articles, and diaries of his contemporaries. An
indefatigable worker, he wrote his arresting music despite deprivations during the Nazi invasion and constant surveillance under Stalin's regime.
Shostakovich's life is a fascinating example of the paradoxes of living as an artist under totalitarian rule. In August 1942, his Seventh Symphony, written as a protest against fascism, was performed in Nazi-besieged Leningrad by the city's surviving musicians, and was triumphantly broadcast
to the German troops, who had been bombarded beforehand to silence them. Alone among his artistic peers, he survived successive Stalinist cultural purges and won the Stalin Prize five times, yet in 1948 he was dismissed from his conservatory teaching positions, and many of his works were banned
from performance. He prudently censored himself, in one case putting aside a work based on Jewish folk poems. Under later regimes he balanced a career as a model Soviet, holding government positions and acting as an international ambassador with his unflagging artistic ambitions.
In the years since his death in 1975, many have embraced a view of Shostakovich as a lifelong dissident who encoded anti-Communist messages in his music. This lucid and fascinating biography demonstrates that the reality was much more complex. Laurel Fay's book includes a detailed list of works, a
glossary of names, and an extensive bibliography, making it an indispensable resource forfuture studies of Shostakovich.


Laurel E. Fay is a widely published writer on Russian and Soviet music, who has been travelling to and studying in Russia since 1971. She lives in Staten Island, New York.


Laurel E. Fay's painstakingly researched Shostakovich: A Life has given us the long-awaited authoritative biography, taking full advantage of the post-Soviet Opening-up of archives to provide the best assemblage of factual information on Shostakovich's life and work in any language."--David Fanning, Music and Letters"The rest of us can...be grateful for [Fay's] humble and herculean efforts, thanks to which Shostakovich can no longer be discussed in terms of black or white; her work has begun to make it possible to focus on the lasting inner life of the music and to think of the music's creator in fuller human terms."--The Boston Sunday Globe "Fay's Shostokovich is not only the best biography in English or in any other West European language, it offers readers a factual accuracy and balanced perspective unmatched in publications by Shostakovich specialists in the composer's homeland. Fay has produced a reliable and basic life and works--clear-eyed, straightforward, copiously researched, sympathetic, objective, and uncluttered by Cold-War and post-Cold-War myths."--Malcolm Hamrick Brown, Professor Emeritus of Music, Indiana University
EAN: 9780195182514
ISBN: 0195182510
Untertitel: A Life. 15 halftones, frontispiece, 2 maps, & 1 cartoon. Sprache: Englisch.
Verlag: Oxford University Press Inc
Erscheinungsdatum: August 2005
Seitenanzahl: 488 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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