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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #15)

Wed Jul 31, 2019, 10:14 AM

17. The viola sonata was, I believe, the last piece he wrote. really special...

I have never played the 4th... have played, 1,5,7,10.
I played the 7th symphony under his son Maxim in.. about 1982-3.

Shostakovich's life was so, so difficult. I don;t know how he kept on...

There is a really wondeful book- "Leningrad: Siege and Symphony: The Story of the Great City Terrorized by Stalin, Starved by Hitler, Immortalized by Shostakovich"

Absolutely riveting...!!

The first time I was in Leningrad (and in Jan.,1984 it was still Leningrad) was also the 1st time I attended a concert at the Leningrad Philharmonie, across the street from the then Europskaya Hotel-now the Belmonde Grand, I believe. THIS was the hall where the 7th Symphony was first performed in the Soviet Union and it is this concert and all that led up to it, that the book is about. This night the Leningrad Philharmonic played the 5th Symphony... I felt then that it was the greatest orchestra I had ever heard...the stories were certainly possibly true...

I met the percussionists after the concert. There were 7 of us all told-4 Russians and 3 Americans. We carefully snuck into my room across the street. One of the Russians, with whom I am still in touch, told me to go to the 'dollar bar" (There was also the 'ruble bar.) and buy vodka. I asked, 'how many bottles?" he said, well, there are seven of us, so get seven!" I did just that. We finished all seven bottles..and I still have the photo to prove it.

A couple years ago the St Petersburg Philharmonic toured the US. I went to one of the concerts at which they played the 5th Symphony. Again, I went out with the percussionists afterwards. Of course they were all newer members of the orchestra, but they all remembered my friend from decades ago. I called my friend, who is now living in the UK, put him on speaker phone...We all drank to Russia- the aspects of Russia we all love- to my friend and to Shostakovich. We, of course, drank Stoli... It was a very special evening.


Oh, when I left Leningrad back in 1984, I also smuggled some music out from a composer acquaintance, but that is another story...

If you are interested, there is a Shostakovich 'group' on FB- "DSCH Shostakovich Journal"








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Arrow 17 replies Author Time Post
revmclaren Jul 2019 OP
NRaleighLiberal Jul 2019 #1
True Dough Jul 2019 #2
NRaleighLiberal Jul 2019 #9
True Dough Jul 2019 #11
revmclaren Jul 2019 #4
revmclaren Jul 2019 #5
RockRaven Jul 2019 #3
revmclaren Jul 2019 #6
pangaia Jul 2019 #7
NRaleighLiberal Jul 2019 #10
pangaia Jul 2019 #12
NRaleighLiberal Jul 2019 #13
pangaia Jul 2019 #14
NRaleighLiberal Jul 2019 #15
LineLineLineLineLineLineLineNew Reply The viola sonata was, I believe, the last piece he wrote. really special...
pangaia Jul 2019 #17
Adsos Letter Jul 2019 #8
zanana1 Jul 2019 #16
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