Story of a Friendship: The Letters of Dmitry Shostakovich to Isaak Glikman, 1941–1975

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9780801439797: Story of a Friendship: The Letters of Dmitry Shostakovich to Isaak Glikman, 1941–1975
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After considerable hesitation and soul-searching I have decided to publish the letters Dmitry Dmitriyevich Shostakovich wrote to me. This choice by the composer's close friend Isaak Glikman brought the tormented feelings of the musical genius into public view. Now those feelings resound in the first substantial collection of Shostakovich's letters to appear in English.From the early 1930s until his death in 1975 Shostakovich wrote regularly to Glikman, a Leningrad theater critic and historian. The 288 letters included in this volume began in 1941, at the time of Operation Barbarossa and the composition of the controversial (Leningrad) Symphony no. 7, and continue until 1974, by which time Shostakovich was too frail to write. Glikman's extensive introduction explains that the earlier letters were lost―presumably left behind when both men were evacuated from besieged Leningrad. In his account of those years, Glikman relates personal details of the composer's life during the height of the Stalinist Terror, including Shostakovich's response to the public humiliation inflicted by the regime after the premiere of his opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk.Taken together, the letters and Glikman's fascinating commentary form a portrait of a complex and acutely sensitive personality endowed with enormous moral integrity, humanity, compassion, and a sharp, often self-deprecating, sense of humor. The book recounts some of the most pivotal episodes of Shostakovich's life, including the long withdrawal of the Symphony no. 4, the regime's 1948 attacks on the composer, his subsequent trips to the United States and other Western countries, his frame of mind upon joining the Communist party in 1960, his reactions to the music of his contemporaries, and his composition of the devastating late symphonies and final string quartets.The battles over the politics of Dmitry Shostakovich and his music continue with undiminished vehemence, and Story of a Friendship is sure to occasion still more argument. At the same time, the book provides a unique opportunity better to understand the man and his music, on the one hand, and the regime that alternately hailed and reviled him, on the other.

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"Readers of this eccentric publication should be warned in advance: the main hero of Story of a Friendship is not Shostakovich the complex figure as we have come to know him . . . , but someone altogether more elusive."―Zinovy Zinik, Times Literary Supplement, 11/23/01

"By turning Shostakovich into a saint, a hero, or a martyr to gratify our hatred of the evil that surrounded him, we grant him no posthumous victory. All we do is reduce him to the level of our imperfect comprehension and our biases. Better to let the contradictions stand. They are what have made Shostakovich so consequential."―Richard Taruskin, The New Republic, December 24, 2001

"The debate over the politics of Shostakovich continues. Story of a Friendship injects a fresh perspective from the composer's private correspondence."―Schirmer News, December '01/January '02

"No doubt for good reason, Shostakovich maintained close relationships with very few people. One of these was theater historian and dramaturge Isaak Glikman. . . The letters are as revelatory as anything touching this reclusive artist can be. . . This volume will serve academic and general readers at all levels."―Choice, April 2002, Vol. 29, No. 8

"For the first time, a significant collection of Shostakovich's letters is available in English, providing a clear window into the personality and the day-to-day life of the composer who penned symphonies, concertos and chamber music under repressive conditions. . . Story of a Friendship almost certainly is the closest we will ever come to having 'Shostakovich's book.'"―David Hendricks, San Antonio Express News, March 17, 2002

"This compilation of Shostakovich's personal letters gives, in its own idiosyncratic way, a hearing to the composer's own voice. This voice, albeit sincere and warm, is neither overtly frank nor straightforward, and―just as his music―is open to multiple interpretations. . . It is an important contribution to Shostakovich studies, particularly helpful to those who cannot read the original, and for those potential readers it is highly recommended."―Margarita Mazo, Ohio State University, The Russian Review, October 2003.

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Book Description Cornell University Press, United States, 2001. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. After considerable hesitation and soul-searching I have decided to publish the letters Dmitry Dmitriyevich Shostakovich wrote to me. This choice by the composer's close friend Isaak Glikman brought the tormented feelings of the musical genius into public view. Now those feelings resound in the first substantial collection of Shostakovich's letters to appear in om the early 1930s until his death in 1975 Shostakovich wrote regularly to Glikman, a Leningrad theater critic and historian. The 288 letters included in this volume began in 1941, at the time of Operation Barbarossa and the composition of the controversial (Leningrad) Symphony no. 7, and continue until 1974, by which time Shostakovich was too frail to write. Glikman's extensive introduction explains that the earlier letters were lost-presumably left behind when both men were evacuated from besieged Leningrad. In his account of those years, Glikman relates personal details of the composer's life during the height of the Stalinist Terror, including Shostakovich's response to the public humiliation inflicted by the regime after the premiere of his opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk.Taken together, the letters and Glikman's fascinating commentary form a portrait of a complex and acutely sensitive personality endowed with enormous moral integrity, humanity, compassion, and a sharp, often self-deprecating, sense of humor. The book recounts some of the most pivotal episodes of Shostakovich's life, including the long withdrawal of the Symphony no. 4, the regime's 1948 attacks on the composer, his subsequent trips to the United States and other Western countries, his frame of mind upon joining the Communist party in 1960, his reactions to the music of his contemporaries, and his composition of the devastating late symphonies and final string quartets.The battles over the politics of Dmitry Shostakovich and his music continue with undiminished vehemence, and Story of a Friendship is sure to occasion still more argument. At the same time, the book provides a unique opportunity better to understand the man and his music, on the one hand, and the regime that alternately hailed and reviled him, on the other. Seller Inventory # APC9780801439797

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Book Description Cornell University Press, United States, 2001. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. After considerable hesitation and soul-searching I have decided to publish the letters Dmitry Dmitriyevich Shostakovich wrote to me. This choice by the composer's close friend Isaak Glikman brought the tormented feelings of the musical genius into public view. Now those feelings resound in the first substantial collection of Shostakovich's letters to appear in om the early 1930s until his death in 1975 Shostakovich wrote regularly to Glikman, a Leningrad theater critic and historian. The 288 letters included in this volume began in 1941, at the time of Operation Barbarossa and the composition of the controversial (Leningrad) Symphony no. 7, and continue until 1974, by which time Shostakovich was too frail to write. Glikman's extensive introduction explains that the earlier letters were lost-presumably left behind when both men were evacuated from besieged Leningrad. In his account of those years, Glikman relates personal details of the composer's life during the height of the Stalinist Terror, including Shostakovich's response to the public humiliation inflicted by the regime after the premiere of his opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk.Taken together, the letters and Glikman's fascinating commentary form a portrait of a complex and acutely sensitive personality endowed with enormous moral integrity, humanity, compassion, and a sharp, often self-deprecating, sense of humor. The book recounts some of the most pivotal episodes of Shostakovich's life, including the long withdrawal of the Symphony no. 4, the regime's 1948 attacks on the composer, his subsequent trips to the United States and other Western countries, his frame of mind upon joining the Communist party in 1960, his reactions to the music of his contemporaries, and his composition of the devastating late symphonies and final string quartets.The battles over the politics of Dmitry Shostakovich and his music continue with undiminished vehemence, and Story of a Friendship is sure to occasion still more argument. At the same time, the book provides a unique opportunity better to understand the man and his music, on the one hand, and the regime that alternately hailed and reviled him, on the other. Seller Inventory # APC9780801439797

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