Shostakovich’s ‘Leningrad’ Symphony is the single most enduring musical monument to resistance to Nazi invasion. The story of its composition and early reception has been extensively told, and some tenacious myths have sprung up in the process, telling us much about the climate of opinion in various countries and at various times, even as they obscure vital qualities that ensure the symphony’s survival in the concert hall. Recent research has clarified the picture somewhat, and our study fleshes out the picture of the work’s afterlife in film, ballet and popular music. However, there remains a conspicuous gap in terms of direct engagement with the symphony’s craftsmanship, without which no amount of vivid backstory-telling would have kept it in the repertoire. Several conspicuous sources of Shostakovich’s musical imagery have been completely overlooked. The status of these sources, and their role within the evolving musical construction of the ‘Leningrad’ Symphony from movement to movement, are central considerations in the present study, which proposes a fundamentally new way of understanding its artistic qualities.
|Title of host publication||The Routledge Handbook to Music under German Occupation, 1938-1945|
|Subtitle of host publication||Propaganda, Myth and Reality|
|Editors||David Fanning, Erik Levi|
|Place of Publication||Abingdon & New York|
|Publisher||Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group|
|Number of pages||30|
|Publication status||Published - 18 Dec 2019|