Dmitri Shostakovich: The Man and His Work

Dmitri Shostakovich: The Man and His Work

Dmitri Shostakovich: The Man and His Work

Dmitri Shostakovich: The Man and His Work

Excerpt

This book was written in the winter of 1942. Recalling my efforts at the time, I must express gratitude to those whose advice and instruction proved invaluable in bringing it to completion. First and foremost among them there was Dmitri Dmitrievich Shostakovich who had so much of interest to tell me and who so kindly agreed to review the manuscript. Then there was the music critic Grigory Mikhailovich Shneerson whose comradely aid was more than welcome during the final editing. Lastly, there was my teacher, Professor Arnold Alexandrovich Alshvang, whose powers of perception have exercised strong influence upon myself and other musicologists, and who helped me to solve many a problem which arose as I wrote this book.

To write about Shostakovich is at once easy and exacting. Easy -- because his merits are undeniable; exacting -- because the key to his treasure house is often so difficult to grasp. Years of study of his music and my sincere admiration for it made me confident that a book like this could be written. I cannot, of course, claim that it has exhausted the subject. If I have succeeded in creating a portrait of the composer in broad but recognizable outlines, I shall consider my task fulfilled.

IVAN MARTYNOV.

Moscow, U.S.S.R.

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