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Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich was a Russian composer most prominent during the Soviet era, born on September 25th, 1906 in St.Petersburg. His life and times extend into some very complex social dwellings, and often question many ethical and moralnorms. His mother first noticed a peculiar amount of musical talent, particularly for the piano, at just the modest age ofeight. During his teens, he went on to compose a lot of music, after having being solely trained by his mother. At just theage of thirteen he was accepted into the Petrograd Conservatory of Music.

After his final gradua ...read more

Dmitri Shostakovich was a Russian composer most prominent during the Soviet era, born on September 25th, 1906 in St.Petersburg. His life and times extend into some very complex social dwellings, and often question many ethical and moralnorms. His mother first noticed a peculiar amount of musical talent, particularly for the piano, at just the modest age ofeight. During his teens, he went on to compose a lot of music, after having being solely trained by his mother. At just theage of thirteen he was accepted into the Petrograd Conservatory of Music.

After his final graduation there, he went on to pursue a career mainly in composition, but also that of a concert pianist. Hisplaying style was widely regarded as immoral to many of the compositions he played of other composers. This public rejectionled him to quickly move solely into composition, and more importantly, concert performer of his sole works only. While such apublic reaction would have scared his persona, it did give him the necessary push towards a career that would land him inmore comfortable terrain.

From 1926, to 1932, Shostakovich composed four symphonies, among other works. His first, composed at the age of 20 wasa minor success, and from then on, consequent symphonies further gained him wider musical approval. He wasn't howeverwithout his critics, who were quick to reject much of his music as recycled Mahler material. Certainly for Shostakovich, themusic of Mahler, Stravinsky and Prokofiev played a major part in his musical development, but to simply denounce his music asrecycled material nowadays is widely disregarded.

Unfortunately for him, and many others, he himself was quickly denounced within his own homeland. The ever increasinglypowerful iron fist of Joseph Stalin’s regime was gouging the landscape wherever it touched. The result of this battering ofmedia criticism was his Fifth Symphony - a reply of sorts to that criticism. The fifth saw a much more conventionalsymphonic approach, perhaps a last effort to silence the crowd. Four years later, World War II plagued much of Europe, andthe infamous Siege of Leningrad took hold upon the city's populace. During this increasingly uncertain time, he composed theinitial movements of his Seventh Symphony whilst waiting out the German attacking force for over two years. His seventh, iscertainly his most patriotic musical attempt with its four movement structure heralding the titles "War," "Memories," "MyNative Field," and finally "Victory," celebrating thelift of the siege.

Even though his seventh served for him a celebration of freedom, or at least that of his fellow citizens, his music was stillgenerally restrained. It wasn't until Stalin's death in 1953 that saw the liberation of many artists to finally be able to expressthemselves in a manner they dictated. For that reason, Shostakovich produced many illustrations of the time, from his PianoConcerto No. 2, to his widely acclaimed Tenth Symphony and other chamber works. Also during this time his work finallypushed through the barriers so many government committees placed before him.

In 1960, he joined the Communist Party, which for many concluded the belief that he was merely giving into to politicalpressure at the time. Such a dramatic move still generates ill responses amongst the public to this day. Despite pressurefrom his third wife and relatives to give up bad habits such as heavy drinking and smoking, Shostakovich maintained his usualstubbornness towards his health. Unfortunately, this deemed that his later life was to be spent mostly under medicalsupervision as he was now suffering from chronic illness, meaning also that his musical ties were coming to a slow and grindinghalt. After finally composing his Fifteenth Symphony in 1971, again a return to his earlier influences of impressionistcomposers, Shostakovichdied from a length battle with lung cancer on August 9th, 1975.

He left behind a musical legacy for his son in particular who went on to perform and record many of his works. As well as hisacclaimed symphonies, he also composed a large file of film music, wrote a classic yet Shostakovich driven 24 Preludes andFugues, as well as two operas, an array of concertos and countless other works. Most are rarely performed, however somestill continue to make their mark upon society to this day, such as those which were used at the 2004 Olympic’s openingceremony. While his music a lot of the time spoked as blips on the radar, Shostakovich’s music will always continue to inspirethe current generation of composers, who commonly attribute him as one of their major influences. « hide

Similar Bands: Sergei Prokofiev, Igor Stravinsky, Gustav Mahler, Galina Ustvolskaya, Carlos Seixas

String Quartet No. 15 in E-flat minor, op. 144
1974

String Quartet No. 14 in F-sharp major, op. 142
1972

Symphony No.15 in A major, Op.141
1972

4.2
5 Votes
Symphony No. 14, Op. 135
1969

String Quartet No. 13 in B flat minor, Op. 138
1969

String Quartet No. 12 in D-flat major, Op. 133
1968

String Quartet No. 11 in F minor, Op. 122
1966

String Quartet No. 9 in E-flat major, op. 117
1964

String Quartet No. 10 in A-flat major, op. 118
1964

Symphony No. 13 in B flat minor, Op. 113
1962

Symphony No. 12 in D minor, Op. 112
1961

String Quartet No. 8 in C Minor, Op. 110
1960

4.2
19 Votes
String Quartet No. 7 in F-sharp minor, Op. 108
1960

Piano Concerto No. 2 in F major, Op. 102
1957

4.1
12 Votes
Symphony No. 11 in G Minor, "The Year 1905"
1957

4.3
5 Votes
Suite for Variety Orchestra
1956

4
1 Votes
String Quartet No. 6 in G major, Op. 101
1956

Symphony No. 10 in E minor, Op. 93
1953

String Quartet No. 5 in B flat major, Op. 92
1952

4.5
1 Votes
24 Preludes and Fugues, Op.87
1951

3.5
1 Votes
String Quartet No. 4 in D major, op. 83
1949

String Quartet No. 3 in F major, Op. 73
1946

3.5
2 Votes
Symphony No. 9 in E-flat major, op. 70
1945

Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor, Op. 67
1944

4.1
5 Votes
String Quartet No. 2 in A major, Op. 68
1944

4
2 Votes
Symphony No. 8 in C minor, Op. 65
1943

4.5
1 Votes
Piano Quintet in G Minor, opus 57
1940

5
1 Votes
Symphony No. 7 in C major, Op. 60
1940

Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 54
1939

String Quartet No. 1 in C major, Op. 49
1938

4
3 Votes
Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47
1937

4.5
6 Votes
Symphony No. 4 in C minor, Op. 43
1936

Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Op.29
1934

1.5
1 Votes
Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 20
1930

Symphony No. 2 in B major, Op. 14
1927

Symphony No. 1 in F minor, Op. 10
1925

4.5
1 Votes

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