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Shostakovich String Quartet No. 8


Shostakovich String Quartet No. 8
Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 8 By David Fanning
2004 | 204 Pages | ISBN: 0754606996 | PDF | 5 MB
When it was first performed in October 1960, Shostakovich's Eighth String Quartet was greeted with a standing ovation and was given a full encore. Its popularity has continued to the present day with over 100 commercial recordings appearing over the last 40 years. The appeal of the work is not hard to identify. Immediately communicative, the quartet also contains rich seams of deeper meaning. This book examines its musical design in detail and seeks to overthrow the charges of superficiality that have arisen as a result of the work's popular success. The core of the study is the close analysis of the work, but this is placed in context with a discussion of Shostakovich's reputation and historical position, the circumstances of the quartet's composition and the subsequent controversies that have surrounded it. The work was composed during the so-called "Thaw" years of the Soviet Union, and the cultural and political background of this period is considered, together with Shostakovich's life and work during this time. David Fanning argues that the Eighth String Quartet is a landmark in 20th-century music in its transcendence of the extra-musical meanings that it invokes; that it is "music that liberates itself from the shackles of its contexts."

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