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The impressive Shostakovich

Modifié le : 2019/08/04

I have to catch up on my learn­ing delay. The con­cert in which Ganymede will per­form with the McGill Sym­pho­ny Choir takes place next week. We will sing Shostakovich’s 13th sym­pho­ny, called Babi Yar, for male choir and baritone.

I’ve always loved Shostakovich. At the time of the vinyl era, I had the com­plete col­lec­tion of quar­tets that I played exten­sive­ly. How­ev­er, I do not know much about his work beyond his quar­tets. Lis­ten­ing to Babi Yar today, the chaot­ic melodies of the pow­er to live res­onate in me. We do not lis­ten to Shostakovich for enter­tain­ment, but to remem­ber the strug­gle of exis­tence. A mix­ture of anguish, charm, grandil­o­quence and inse­cu­ri­ty, the com­poser’s music is firm­ly root­ed in human­i­ty, which has caused him many tor­ments, for as a free but devot­ed artist, he could crit­i­cize Stal­in as much as give glo­ry to the Sovi­et Union.

That time when he lived was rich in blood. Shostakovich’s genius was to paint it with a glow­ing scalpel in his hand and heart. Only music, and undoubt­ed­ly cin­e­ma, can illus­trate the human con­di­tion in this way. I always dream that this breath will nour­ish my poor grammar.

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