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Dmitry Shostakovich

September 25, 1906 - August 9, 1975
born in St. Petersburg, Russia, composed during the Modern period
Dmitry Shostakovich was a Russian composer whose symphonies and quartets, numbering 15 each, are among the greatest examples of these classic forms from the 20th century. His style evolved from the brash humor and experimental character of his first period, exemplified by the operas The Nose and Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, into both the more introverted melancholy and nationalistic fervor of his second phase (the Symphonies No. 5 and No. 7, "Leningrad"), and finally into the defiant and bleak mood of his last period (exemplified by the Symphony No. 14 and Quartet No. 15). Early in his career his music showed the influence of Prokofiev and Stravinsky, especially in his prodigious and highly successful First Symphony. He could effectively communicate a melancholic depth and profound sense of anguish, as one hears in many of his symphonies, concertos, and quartets. Solomon Volkov, in his controversial Testimony: The Memoirs of Dmitri Shostakovich explains the composer's seeming bombast as deft satire of the pomposity of the Soviet state, pointing to the "forced rejoicing" of Fifth Symphony's ending. Typical traits of Shostakovich's style include short, reiterated melodic or rhythmic figures, motifs of one or two pitches or intervals, and lugubrious and manic string writing.

Shostakovich was born in St. Petersburg in 1906 and educated at the Petrograd Conservatory. The acid style of his early Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk irritated Stalin, and Shostakovich was attacked in the Soviet press. Fearing imprisonment, he withdrew his already rehearsed Fourth Symphony; his Fifth Symphony (1937) carried the subtitle "A Soviet Artist's Reply to Just Criticism." It is more ingenious than most critics have fathomed, for it managed to satisfy both the backward tastes of the party censors and those of more demanding aesthetes in the West.

The 1941 German invasion of Russia inspired the composer's Seventh Symphony, subtitled "Leningrad." Impressed by the symphony's epic-heroic character, Toscanini, Koussevitzky, and Stokowski vied for the Western Hemisphere premiere; the score had to be microfilmed, flown to Teheran, driven to Cairo, and flown out. The work became an enormous success the world over, but eventually fell into obscurity. Still, the composer had for a time become a worldwide celebrity, his picture even appearing on the cover of Time.

Shostakovich ran afoul of the government again in 1948, when an infamous decree was issued by the Central Committee of the Communist Party accusing Shostakovich, Prokofiev, and other prominent composers of "formalist perversions." For some time he wrote mostly works glorifying Soviet life or history. Artistic repression diminished in post-Stalinist Russia, but curiously Shostakovich still drew in his modernist horns until the Thirteenth Symphony, "Babi Yar," a 1962 work based on poems by Yevgeny Yevtushenko. The work provoked major controversy because of its first movement's subject: Russian oppression of the Jews.

In 1966 Shostakovich wrote his Second Cello Concerto, a work on an even higher level than his solid First, but one that has yet to capture as much attention from either artists or the public. That year, Shostakovich was diagnosed with a serious heart condition. He continued to compose, his works growing more sparsely scored and darker, the subject of death becoming prominent. His Fourteenth Symphony (1969), really a collection of songs on texts by Lorca, Apollinaire, Küchelbecker, and Rilke, is a death-obsessed work of considerable dissonance and showing little regard for the Socialist Realism still demanded by the state. Shostakovich died on August 9, 1975. ~ Rovi Staff, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Shostakovich: Hamlet

Title: Hamlet, Film Score, Op. 116 (unrelated To Incidental Music)
x

Track List: Shostakovich: 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87

Disc 1
Title: Preludes & Fugues (24), For Piano, Op. 87
Disc 2
Disc 3
x

Track List: Complete String Quartets

Disc 1
Title: String Quartet No. 1 In C Major, Op. 49
Title: String Quartet No. 2 In A Major, Op. 68
Title: String Quartet No. 3 In F Major, Op. 73
Disc 2
Title: String Quartet No. 4 In D Major, Op. 83
Title: String Quartet No. 5 In B Flat Major, Op. 92
Title: String Quartet No. 6 In G Major, Op. 101
Disc 3
Title: String Quartet No. 7 In F Sharp Minor, Op. 108
Title: String Quartet No. 8 In C Minor, Op. 110
Title: String Quartet No. 9 In E Flat Major, Op. 117
Title: String Quartet No. 10 In A Flat, Op. 118
Disc 4
Title: Movements (2) For String Quartet
Title: String Quartet No. 11 In F Minor, Op. 122
Title: String Quartet No. 12 In D Flat Major, Op. 133
Title: String Quartet No. 13 In B Flat Minor, Op. 138
Disc 5
Title: String Quartet No. 14 In F Sharp Major, Op. 142
Title: String Quartet No. 15 In E Flat Minor, Op. 144
x

Track List: Plain toe 4 eyelet blucher genuine snake lace oxford features a soft snakeskin leather

Title: Ballet Suite No. 1, For Orchestra (assembled By Atovmyan)
Title: Piano Concerto No. 1, For Piano, Trumpet & Strings, In C Minor, Op. 35
Title: Suite For Jazz Orchestra No. 2
Title: Suite For Jazz Orchestra No. 1
Title: Piano Concerto No. 2 In F Major, Op. 102
Title: Ballet Suite No. 3, For Orchestra (assembled By Atovmyan)
Title: Ballet Suite No. 1, For Orchestra (assembled By Atovmyan)
Title: Ballet Suite No. 2, For Orchestra (assembled By Atovmyan)
Title: Symphony No. 10 In E Minor, Op. 93
Title: Suite For Jazz Orchestra No. 2
x

Track List: Shostakovich: 24 Preludes and Fugues, Op. 87

Disc 1
Title: Preludes & Fugues (24), For Piano, Op. 87
Disc 2
x

Track List: Shostakovich: Ballet Suites

Disc 1
Title: Ballet Suite No. 1, For Orchestra (assembled By Atovmyan)
Title: Ballet Suite No. 2, For Orchestra (assembled By Atovmyan)
Title: Ballet Suite No. 3, For Orchestra (assembled By Atovmyan)
Title: Festive Overture, For Orchestra In A Major, Op. 96
Disc 2
Title: Ballet Suite No. 4, For Orchestra (assembled By Atovmyan)
Title: The Bolt, Suite From The Ballet, Op. 27a
Title: Katerina Izmaylova, Suite From The Opera, Op. 114a
x

Track List: Shostakovich: Complete Concertos

Disc 1
Title: Violin Concerto No. 1 In A Minor, Op. 77 (published As Op. 99)
Title: Violin Concerto No. 2 In C Sharp Minor, Op. 129
Disc 2
Title: Cello Concerto No. 1 In E Flat Major, Op. 107
Title: Cello Concerto No. 2 In G Major, Op. 126
Disc 3
Title: Piano Concerto No. 1, For Piano, Trumpet & Strings, In C Minor, Op. 35
Title: Piano Concerto No. 2 In F Major, Op. 102
Disc 8
Title: Violin Concerto No. 1 In A Minor, Op. 77 (published As Op. 99)
Title: Violin Concerto No. 2 In C Sharp Minor, Op. 129
x

Track List: Shostakovich: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2; Jazz Suite No. 1; Tahiti Trot (Tea For Two)

x

Track List: Shostakovich: Piano Music; Chamber Works

Disc 1
Title: Preludes & Fugues (24), For Piano, Op. 87
Disc 2
Disc 3
Title: Sonata For Piano No. 2 In B Minor, Op. 61
Title: Fantastic Dances (3), For Piano, Op. 5
Title: Preludes (5) For Piano (taken From Op. 2 For Inclusion In Collaborative Work Of 24 Preludes With Clements & Feldt)
Title: Dances Of The Dolls (7), Suite For Piano (arr. From The Ballet Suites For Orchestra)
Title: Aphorisms (10), For Piano, Op. 13
Title: The Age Of Gold, Ballet, Op. 22
Disc 4
Title: Sonata For Piano No. 1 (October Symphony), Op. 12
Title: Preludes (24) For Piano, Op. 34
Title: Piano Trio No. 2 In E Minor, Op. 67
Disc 5
Title: Sonata For Cello & Piano In D Minor, Op. 40
Title: Moderato, For Cello & Piano, Op. 40b (until 1968 Considered To Be Part Of Sonata Op 40)
Title: Pieces (2) For Double String Quartet, Op. 11
Title: Quintet For Piano & Strings In G Minor, Op. 57
x

Track List: Shostakovich: Piano Sonata No. 1; 24 Preludes

Title: Preludes (24) For Piano, Op. 34
Title: Aphorisms (10), For Piano, Op. 13
Title: Sonata For Piano No. 1 (October Symphony), Op. 12
Title: Fantastic Dances (3), For Piano, Op. 5
x

Track List: Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 11 & 12; Hamlet, Etc.

Disc 1
Title: Symphony No. 11 In G Minor, Op. 103 (The Year 1905)
Title: October, Symphonic Poem, Op. 131
Title: Overture On Russian And Khirghiz Folksongs, For Orchestra, Op. 115
Disc 2
Title: Symphony No. 12 In D Minor, Op. 112 (The Year 1917 - In Memory Of Lenin)
Title: Hamlet, Suite From The Incidental Music, Op. 32a (unrelated To Film Score)
Title: The Age Of Gold, Suite From The Ballet, Op. 22a
x

Track List: Shostakovich: Symphony No. 14; Six Poems Of Marina Tsvetaeva

Title: Symphony No. 14 For Soprano, Bass, Strings & Percussion, Op. 135
Title: Poems (6) Of Marina Tsvetayeva, For Alto & Piano, Op. 143 (orchestrated As Op 143a)
x

Track List: Shostakovich: Symphony No. 15; From Jewish Folk Poetry

Title: Symphony No. 15 In A Major, Op. 141
Title: From Jewish Folk Poetry, Song Cycle For Soloists & Piano, Op. 79 (orchestrated As Op 79a)
x

Track List: Shostakovich: The Complete Symphonies - Mariss Jansons (10 CD)

Disc 1
Title: Symphony No. 1 In F Minor, Op. 10
Title: Symphony No. 15 In A Major, Op. 141
Disc 2
Title: Symphony No. 2 In B Flat Major (To October), Op. 14
Title: Symphony No. 12 In D Minor, Op. 112 (The Year 1917 - In Memory Of Lenin)
Disc 3
Title: Symphony No. 3 In E Flat Major (The First Of May), Op. 20
Title: Symphony No. 14 For Soprano, Bass, Strings & Percussion, Op. 135
Disc 4
Title: Symphony No. 4 In C Minor, Op. 43
Title: The Gadfly, Suite From The Film Score, Op. 97a (Assembled By Atovmyan)
Disc 5
Title: Symphony No. 5 In D Minor, Op. 47
Title: Symphony No. 6 In B Minor, Op. 54
Disc 6
Title: Symphony No. 7 In C Major (Leningrad), Op. 60
Disc 7
Title: Symphony No. 8 In C Minor, Op. 65 (Stalingrad)
Disc 8
Title: Symphony No. 9 In E Flat Major, Op. 70
Title: Symphony No. 10 In E Minor, Op. 93
Disc 9
Title: Symphony No. 11 In G Minor, Op. 103 (The Year 1905)
Title: Suite For Jazz Orchestra No. 1
Title: Suite For Jazz Orchestra No. 2
Title: Tahiti Trot, For Orchestra (arr. Of Youmans "Tea For Two"), Op. 16
Disc 10
Title: Symphony No. 13 In B Flat Minor, Op. 113 (Babi Yar)
x

Track List: Shostakovich: The String Quartets

Disc 1
Title: String Quartet No. 1 In C Major, Op. 49
Title: String Quartet No. 2 In A Major, Op. 68
Disc 2
Title: String Quartet No. 3 In F Major, Op. 73
Title: String Quartet No. 4 In D Major, Op. 83
Disc 3
Title: String Quartet No. 5 In B Flat Major, Op. 92
Title: String Quartet No. 6 In G Major, Op. 101
Title: String Quartet No. 7 In F Sharp Minor, Op. 108
Disc 4
Title: String Quartet No. 8 In C Minor, Op. 110
Title: String Quartet No. 9 In E Flat Major, Op. 117
Title: String Quartet No. 10 In A Flat, Op. 118
Disc 5
Title: String Quartet No. 11 In F Minor, Op. 122
Title: String Quartet No. 12 In D Flat Major, Op. 133
Title: String Quartet No. 13 In B Flat Minor, Op. 138
Disc 6
Title: String Quartet No. 14 In F Sharp Major, Op. 142
Title: String Quartet No. 15 In E Flat Minor, Op. 144

Comments

Dmitry Shostakovich was the hippest cat of all time
I made music all day once after visiting toca bell.
Very very good! Lively and moving.
Spike Jones meets Igor
peckony
This is the best waltz theme of all time. I have played it in symphony orchestras and concert bands.and it lets E-flat and tenor saxes play the main theme. Unusual in a symphony orchestra!!
I think Danny Elfman was inspired by this music
Sequels are available for $2.99 @ the entrance 2 my padded cell,4 those who line up in an orderly fashion..... . . . T h a n k you.
U do realize,I hope (all hilarity aside), osteorock, that the ones who post such comments as u reference are.......li k e .........mos t l y young teenagers~~~ r i g h t ? I try not 2 get as annoyed with it as I used 2. I was a bit loopy myself, @ that age. (A BIT??? I wrote that book!!!)
I had planned 2 comment with great depth/profun d i t y on the various aspects of Shostakovich ` s works, possible explanations of his mindsets @ certain difficult times of his life, and so on,etc etc etc...... then I read the comment left by osteorock ( see below), & began LMFAO. So much 4 deep thinking!!! :-D :-D :-D :-D =-O
Deep, yet soft, emotions. Delicate, in a way. Happier, having heard.
♫l|l||̲̅̅●̲̅ ̅ | ̲ ̅ ̅ = ̲ ̅ ̅ | ̲ ̅ ̅ ̲ ̅ ̅ | | l | l m u s i c
osteorock
Don't read at all and you'll eventually become illiterate!! ! This actually works!!! Repost this ten times then, dunk your head in a pool of water (any liquid will suffice) and inhale DEEPLY. If the person you love doesn't come to your rescue it's probably because you're an idiot and you had it coming. If you fail to repost this 10 times within 10 minutes, you most likely have more important things to do and a faith in something greater than a cheesy social utility myth... Good for you!!!
lschastain77
This freaked me out This isn't fake. Apparently, if you copy and paste this on ten comments in the next ten minutes, you will have the best day of your life tomorrow. You will either get kissed or asked out. If you break this chain you will see a dead girl in your room tonight. In the next 53 minutes someone will say I love you or I'm sorry This freaked me out This isn't fake. This freaked me out This isn't fake. Apparently, if you copy and paste this on ten comments in the next ten minutes
msjann6
Don't read this because it actually works. You will get kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. tomorrow will be the best day of your life. however if you do not post this comment to at least 3 songs you will die in 2 days. now you've started reading this so don't stop. this is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in at least 143 minutes when if done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is scary because it actually works!!
i know =) we played a song of his in high school band, Festive Overture
ethan_craigh e a d
The name is spelled wrong. It's an -i, not a -y
kellyledford 1 9 8 2
My mistress and I enjoy much!
Love it
:-)
This is gorgeous cello work...too bad the cellist is not identified here ....
Love the cello concertos! The quartets are divine.
His 7th and 10th are on my list of the 20 greatest symphonies.
'formalism' and 'bourgeois decadence' ~ Soviet Communist Party
I adore his Symphony #10: one of the toughest piccolo parts ever.
good selections. play them all
the song im listening to is by him and its like a crasoul
He taught me how to rock.
littledeud
Dmitri is misspelled
antoniomarqu e z b
Simply, a master. His sense of melody and expression is beyond words. I know very little about music but I do have a soul and it rejoices listening to his work
panster
This is the ultimate composer. His music is so unique, and so imaginative. His Jazz album is a prime example of his works (which I have and enjoy quite frequently). Shostakovich has such an amazing life story to go with his awesome music. I'd have to say Symphony No. 5 is my favorite work of his (thanks to Brian, I'd forgotten the name), but his polkas are so wonderful, as are his waltzes, his dances...

I LOVE THEM ALL!
jimsberg_04
Perhaps his greatest work is the First Violin Concerto, as performed by David Oistrakh, possibly one of the greatest violinists of the 20th century, and the NY Philharmonic in the 1956 Carnegie Hall version. Ok, it's not stereo! So what? It's bad enuff that it has been remastered in digital which loses a bit of the harmonics.
If you are looking for the Symphony No. 5 in d minor, look on youtube.
bwilson95
If you're not familiar with his Symphony No. 5 in D Minor, which I'm trying to find here, please treat yourself!
bwilson95
Great composer - one of the best of the 20th century and all time!
choral
The 11th is my personel favorite. Joel Kaye
Anyone interested in DS should read "Testament". His description of watching Stalin's funeral on TV is priceless: "You're dead, you b**tard! You're dead and I'm still alive!"
A much appreciated this artistic effort; however, my praise is now directed at the staff of Pandora for their sensitive and artful selection of the programs offered. It is refreshing in an era of rush, rush, get it done.

Thank you Pandora.
hine0012
I hate Toscanini. He cuts everything up into a hash and then pours a disgusting sauce over it. -DDS
I have chills!
leaves me.....speac h l e s s
i like the ballet suites! really cool!
My favorite is still Symphony #11. Simply stunning.
warthogger9
shostakovich is a hella entertaining composer to watch someone perform, i'll give him that.