By Malcolm Hamrick Brown
"A significant event.... This Casebook is not just approximately Volkov’s Testimony, it really is approximately song outdated and new within the twentieth century, in regards to the cultural legacy of 1 of that century’s such a lot extravagant social experiments, and what we need to study from them, not just what they should examine from us." —Caryl Emerson, Princeton University
In 1979, the alleged memoirs of mythical composer Dmitry Shostakovich (1906–1975) have been released as Testimony: The Memoirs of Dmitry Shostakovich As on the topic of and Edited by way of Solomon Volkov. given that its visual appeal, although, Testimony has been the point of interest of controversy in Shostakovich reports as doubts have been raised relating its authenticity and the function of its editor, Volkov, in developing the book.
A Shostakovich Casebook provides 25 essays, interviews, newspaper articles, and reviews—many newly on hand because the cave in of the Soviet Union—that evaluation the "case" of Shostakovich. as well as authoritatively reassessing Testimony’s genesis and reception, the authors during this booklet deal with problems with political impact on musical creativity and the function of the artist inside of a totalitarian society. across the world recognized individuals comprise Richard Taruskin, Laurel E. Fay, and Irina Antonovna Shostakovich, the composer’s widow. This quantity combines a balanced reconsideration of the Testimony controversy with an exam of what the talk indicates for all song historians, performers, and considerate listeners.
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Additional resources for A Shostakovich Casebook
I was thinking of other enemies of humanity when I composed the theme. (p. 1 5 5) Subsequently Volkov quotes Shostakovich as explicitly equating these "enemies of humanity" with Stalin and his henchmen. Which explanation are we to believe? Shostakovich versus Volkov: Whose Testimony? ( 1 980) I I7 In his preface Volkov tells us that "Shostakovich's manner of respond ing to questions was highly stylized. Some phrases had apparently been polished over many years" (p. xvii). Yet the sheer length of the identified quotations as well as their formalized language make it utterly incon ceivable that the composer had memorized his previously published state ments and then reproduced them exactly in his conversations with Vol kov.
1 3 . Ibid. 14. The number and location of the inscriptions have been confirmed in a letter to the author, dated 9 July 1 980, from Testimony's editor Ann Harris. 1 5 . S. Frederick Starr, "Private Anguish, Public Scorn," Books & Arts, 7 De cember 1 979, p. 4. 16. Karlinsky, "Our D estinies Are Bad," p. 5 3 5 . Despite his discovery of sev eral problems in the absence of documentation in Testimony, Professor Karlinsky reasons that Volkov's "musicological expertise and his well-documented closeness to Shostakovich" leave no cause to doubt the authenticity of the manuscript.
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