The fall of the Soviet empire has not diminished the popularity of Dmitri Shostakovich's great symphonies and concertos one bit, despite the fact that most literature on him neglects any substantive discussion of the music itself in favor of biographical speculation on the relationship between the composer and the political climate of the day. This is the first book to provide a detailed, descriptive analysis of the 21 symphonies and concertos, work by work, explaining not just why they are significant documents of their time and place, but why they are great music in general. This offers readers an understanding of why Shostakovich's music enjoys the enduring support of performers and listeners alike, and how it fits into the great tradition of Western classical music generally.
“Hurrwitz has lived with this music, absorbed it, and knows it. . . . this book dr[ove] me to the music. And, in an interesting way, it gave me a new appreciation of Shostakovich and his art. In this, Hurwitz succeeds. . . . This book will remain on my shelf, as an owner's manual, available when listening to recordings of Shostakovich's symphonies and concerti..” Fanfare, March/April 2007
“a thoroughly comprehensible, enlightening, engaging guide for the general listener who wants to understand what ShostakovichÕs music is all about. I wish IÕd had this delightfully unstuffy installment in Amadeus Press' 'Unlocking the Masters' series 20 years ago. . . . For the enhanced understanding of Shostakovich's often convoluted, knotty, but achingly beautiful music you'll gain from this book, it's well worth the price.” American Record Guide, May/June 2007
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