Born: 1906, St. Petersburg, Russia
Died: 1975, Moscow, Russia
“I always try to make myself as widely understood as possible; and if I don’t succeed, I consider it my own fault.”
Shostakovich completed his Symphony No. 1 during the summer of 1925 and died exactly 50 years and 14 more symphonies later. He had one of the most difficult careers ever endured by an artist, a life tormented by suffocating political repression, foreign invasion, and personal tragedy. The essence of Shostakovich’s mature musical language – a sardonic wit, a Mahler-like fusion of the tragic and the commonplace, and an assured handling of the orchestra – were present in his music from the beginning.
Piano Concerto No. 1 (1933)
Yefim Bronfman, Thomas Stevens
(trumpet), Los Angeles Philharmonic,
Esa-Pekka Salonen (Sony)
Symphony No. 8 (1943)
WDR Sinfonie-Orchester Köln,
Semyon Bychkov (Avie)
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