Site Search:
 
Get TEFL Certified & Start Your Adventure Today!
Teach English Abroad and Get Paid to see the World!
Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Shostakovich's Leningrad Symphony - 70th anniversary
Goto page Previous  1, 2
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Russia & C.I.S.
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 11061
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Maruss. Why not share your thoughts on cultural matters here? As Expatella_girl and I have written, these matters should/could be of interest to other teachers either here, or thinking of coming over. They are of interest to me, at least.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 11061
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi again Expatella_girl!

Oh dear. Don't like Shostakovich? We may need to talk about cultural re-education if you are to be our commissar : )

Seriously, though, he isn't to everybody's liking, that is true. But that is part of the richness of Russian music that you can go from Rachmaninov to Schnittke in just a generation or so. Both of these composers seem to attract equal amounts of adulation and disdain.

So whatever about symphonies, how about chamber music? Perhaps more accessible?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrwBixvbDqk

Can't go wrong with a piano quintet either:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chDbfXozB_4
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 11061
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And let's not forget works for solo piano:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uuj5uzgmB5A&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3LZ79VfZ08&feature=related

I have to lie down for a while after listening to this.... The learners really get upset about that too, the philistines!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 11061
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJRF0JED640&feature=related

That's it. Can't post anything more after this greatness...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
maruss



Joined: 18 Mar 2003
Posts: 1144
Location: Cyprus

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:10 pm    Post subject: Wow!! Reply with quote

A russian friend of mine hates Shostakovitch music and says it makes her feel suicidal and at best totally depressed!Mind you she is very emotional and always tends to expect the worst outcome for everything that happens to her!By the way,it is usually believed nowadays that his orchestral works represent his public side and the chamber music his private side.........
For people who have tried listening and still have a problem,like expatella girl,I really recommend the second movement of his second piano concerto which could have been composed by Tchaikovsky or Rachmaninov-you can find it on You Tube and I'd love to know what you think of it.For me it's like moonlight shining on a Russian lake or river and almost moves you to tears........as do many of Tchaikovskys slower compositions,number 1 of course being the ending of the Pathetique symphony for that.Valery Gergiev conducted it at the London Proms just after the Beslan massacre some years ago and the audience were specially instructed beforehand not to applaud afterwards but to simply stay silent and then quietly leave the auditorium.....the effect was quite devastating and unforgetable.
That will do for tonight.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 11061
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maruss, that was a really interesting post. Thanks for sharing.

Anyway, our numbers are growing. That's at least four cultural posters so far. Any more?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
maruss



Joined: 18 Mar 2003
Posts: 1144
Location: Cyprus

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:31 pm    Post subject: Hope this is of interest Reply with quote

Perhaps what makes Shostakovitch different from other composers we have mentioned is that many of his compositions have double meanings due to the time in which he lived,when expressing opposition in words meant trouble and could even be fatal!Much was revealed after the end of the Soviet era and especially by a book called 'Testimony' by Simeon Volkov which still causes controversy even today more than 35 years since the composer died.
The fifth symphony,his most famous and probably the easiest to listen to is a very good example:this music probably saved the composer from the Gulag and helped him to regain Stalins approval,but it still didn't stop the Russian public from hearing beyond the official description of what it represents:religion and praying were against the party line in the 1930's when it was first performed-millions had already been arrested and even executed,yet the third movement in particular contains clear motives which recall the Russian Orthodox Panichida,or requiem mass.The audience reportedly openly wept at the premier of this work which is probably unequalled in its emotional intensity among all the composers music.Even though it is performed by a well-known US orchestra, the hour long video analysis performance of this symphony by Michael Tillson Thomas is well worth watching and is available free on line.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 11061
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Certainly is. Thanks again, Maruss!

I have not yet read 'Testament', but have read Solomom Volkov's 'Shostakovich and Stalin'. Whatever about academic solidity, it makes for gripping reading. As does his 'The Magical Chorus'. I have another book, 'The New Shostakovich', by Ian MacDonald, waiting patiently on my bookshelf. Will probably get stuck into it next, so inspired am I now.

Also, the DVD 'Shostakovich against Stalin: The War Symphonies' is well worth a look, despite the grainy, cheapy video quality in spots.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCUxv7YHEgU
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
maruss



Joined: 18 Mar 2003
Posts: 1144
Location: Cyprus

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:37 pm    Post subject: Read it Sasha! Reply with quote

The late Ian Macdonalds revised version of his book on Shostakovitch and his music is a must read and contains some additional chapters with links to George Orwell and 1984 etc.
As for the DVD with Valery Gergiev,there are some fascinating interviews in it,including Shostakovitch daughter Galina.
There has been so much speculation about the real meaning of this composers music since the end of the Soviet era and it is still going on,but many people find his music very compelling and in recent years it has been much more frequently performed outside Russia than before,even if it is often sombre and even morbid at times.
The most famous of his quartets is probably the 8th which conductor Rudolf Barshai has also orchestrated.Officially he dedicated it to the 'victims of war and fascism' and it was written after he visited the ruined city of Dresden in the early post war years.But delve into it more deeply and you discover not only the musical signature DsCh which represents his name but will also learn that he was forced to join the Communist party at this time,something which filled him wit