September 25, 2006

Shostakovich's centenary

Its one hundred years since the great composer Shostakovich was born. Shostakovich in Russia in the 40s suffered notoriously from Joseph Stalin's warped criticism and the Soviet tyrant stopped him from working at various points- he was only fully reinstated as an artist in 1953 with Stalin's death.

One wonders what would have become of Russian art without Stalin, imagine Shostakovich's symphonies, Akhmatova's and Mandlestam's poetry and Pasternak's or Gorky's novels that remained unwritten- not to mention countless others.