D.SHOSTAKOVICH: SONATAS OP. 40 & OP. 147 (M.Paris, M.Washimiya)
Five Pieces, for sax soprano, sax alto and piano (with parts)
(Arranged by Nicola Mogaero) DV 10641 32 Pages Modern
Shipment cost not included
(b St Petersburg, 12/25 Sept 1906; d Moscow, 9 Aug 1975). Russian composer. He is generally regarded as the greatest symphonist of the mid-20th century, and many of his string quartets, concertos, instrumental and vocal works are also firmly established in the repertory. His numerous film scores, extensive incidental theatre music and three ballets are of more variable quality. In 1936, political intervention cut short his potentially outstanding operatic output; such interference continued to blight his career, belying the outward signs of official favour and recognition that increasingly came his way. Amid the conflicting pressures of official requirements, the mass suffering of his fellow countrymen, and his personal ideals of humanitarianism and public service, he succeeded in forging a musical language of colossal emotional power. The music of his middle period is often epic in scale and content; it has been understood by many Russians, and in more recent years also by Westerners, as chronicling his society and times, conveying moods and, as some would argue, experiences and even political messages in notes, at a time when to do so in words was proscribed. Since the appearance in 1979 of his purported memoirs, which expressed profound disaffection from the Soviet regime, his works have been intensely scrutinized for evidence of such explicit communication. However, his intentions in this respect continue to provoke disagreement, not least because of the problematic status of the sources involved. He published articles and made speeches under varying degrees of duress; for much of his life his correspondence was liable to be read by censors; he destroyed almost all letters sent to him; he kept no diary; and his reported confidences to friends and family are of varying reliability. Meanwhile, the musical dimensions of his works remain comparatively little examined. He played a decisive role in the musical life of the former Soviet Union, as teacher, writer and administrator. He was also an active pianist, frequently performing his own works until disability prevented him. His last concert appearance was in 1966.