Dmtrij Sostakovic, Between Adulation and Celebration  

Fotografia del compositore Dmítrij Dmítrievič Šostakóvič seduto alla sia scrivania, chino sul pentagramma. Sullo sfondo un pianoforte verticale

It is amazing. Now the Soviet musician is known and appreciated in Western countries, but firstly he was discovered in the UK, in the Us during the World War Two and little by little, his fame grew all over Europe. In URSS his life was characterized both by great glory (the same of Sergueï Prokofiev, his biggest competitor) and harsh disregard. In 1948, he was attacked by the jdanist wing of the Communist Party for his 9thsymphony, qualified as « Sinfonietta ». He had to do self-criticism publicly therefore losing his tenured professorship. Also his son had to disown him! Six years before, he was asked to compose a symphony in honour of his hometown besieged by Germans, called “Leningrad”. Stalin sent him to Kouïbychev to seek shelter in order to complete his work.

The symphony was performed for the first time in March 1941 in this town. Few days after, it was performed in Moscow, and spread to the whole country through the radio speakers in the streets. Then, it was done again in August 9th1942. In 1943, he composed the 8th symphony called “Stalingrad” (but it was not his willing). Therefore, his popularity was huge. He written two opera arias (among them Lady Macbeth in 1934), several ballets, four film soundtracks and a long series of quartets, quintets, 15 symphonies, concerts and sonatas…


In this book which contains a very rich iconography, with many documents related to its creation, but also to life in the revolutionary Lenigrad (portraits of a group of inhabitants, political or sports demonstration in the streets …), customs and scenarios which were designed for his operas or balletshe made musicfor, such as Le Clair ruisseau which was much criticized in 1936. There is also the fabulous story of the seventh symphony. Withthese essays, it is possible to understand a large part of his fireplace as a musical universe that was not the easiest since the political context, which was very adventurous even in the sphere of art. Without being an exhaustive biography, without studying in details every opéra he wrote, the reader can make a clear idea of ​​who was this exceptional musician, who had to always play between the very classicism and newer music (it was already in his way of doing music because he never wanted to break the bridges between the past and the present). But he was a man capable of creating surprising, sometimes exaggerated forms in all kinds. Being classic and modern at the same time it was already a considerable challenge! It now belongs to the history of twentieth century music, but also to the great history.


DmitrijSostakivic, the great Soviet composer, presentedby Gino du Maggio, Mudima, 614 p., 40 €.