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Five Operas and a SymphonyWord and Music in Russian Culture$
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Boris Gasparov

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780300106503

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300106503.001.0001

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A Testimony: Shostakovich's Fourth Symphony and the End of Romantic Narrative

A Testimony: Shostakovich's Fourth Symphony and the End of Romantic Narrative

Chapter:
(p.161) 6 A Testimony: Shostakovich's Fourth Symphony and the End of Romantic Narrative
Source:
Five Operas and a Symphony
Author(s):

Boris Gasparov

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300106503.003.0007

This chapter examines Shostakovich's musical composition Fourth Symphony. It suggests that despite the controversy surrounding the composition, it was the composition that marked a watershed in Shostakovich's development as a composer and can be considered as the conclusion of his early period which was marked by a radical avant-garde style and bold experimentation with genres and musical forms. It also contends that Shostakovich's work is thick with dramatic tensions and oratorical pathos and discusses how his music became entangled in a Manichaean dual perspective which reduced its interpretation to a simple choice of labeling it either pro- or anti-Soviet.

Keywords:   Fourth Symphony, Dmitri Shostakovich, musical forms, dramatic tensions, oratorical pathos, Manichaean dual perspective

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