3111 Words13 Pages
Dmitri Shostakovich: A Musical Representation of Communist Russia In the musical world, no one is as controversial as Dmitri Shostakovich. Although he died not 30 years ago, many aspects of his life still remain to be a great mystery. When he was alive, many in the world believed he was a Communist and a devoted servant of Stalin. It was not until after his death that the truth had come out. Or had the truth been there all along? Many believe that this was because his music expressed a lot of nationalism and idolized Stalin. However, in an attempt to escape the red fist of Stalin, Shostakovich made his music appear to be nationalistic when really it is full of sarcasm and hidden messages. Shostakovich showed his contempt Stalin and…show more content…
Since Shostakovich was unable to express his ideas about Communism openly, he had to resort to sarcasm to show his resentment to the party. But how can one prove that Shostakovich used sarcasm in his works? Sarcasm in nonvocal works is usually evident when lots of techniques from different style periods are used. This creates contrast and exaggeration in a piece to represent sarcasm ("Dmitri" ). Several works of Shostakovich demonstrate this technique, but one of the more well known pieces is the "Leningrad" symphony. In Shostakovich's 7th Symphony, otherwise known as the "Leningrad" symphony, he uses a great deal of Sarcasm. During the time when the symphony was written, Shostakovich and his family were in Leningrad when the Nazis sieged the city. As the war continued, the symphony became a song of the Russian resistance against Germany ("Dmitri" ). The true intentions of the symphony have been highly debated. When taken at face value, it appears that Shostakovich was attempting to conform to the Soviet standards and write a piece full of patriotic themes, but when taking a more in depth look, it can be said that the piece has a double meaning (Simon, "Politics" ). In order to save himself from the threat of being taken away by the Secret Police, Shostakovich wrote the piece to please Soviet authorities. He portrays Russia as
Get Access