In 1946 Schoenberg wrote of Sibelius and Shostakovich, 'I feel they have the breath of symphonists.' This book poses the question of what exactly that 'breath' means in the context of Shostakovich's 10th Symphony (1953). Written shortly after Stalin's death, the work marks a turning point in the composer's output and in the history of Russian music, heralding the possibility of a new creative direction for Soviet artists. David Fanning's close analysis of the 10th sheds light on issues associated with the genre of the twentieth-century epic symphony, issues of structure and expression, unity and contrast. The book reveals how the work displays some of Shostakovich's most effective strategies for confronting these issues.
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