Dmitri Shostakovich; the Life and Background of a Soviet Composer

Dmitri Shostakovich; the Life and Background of a Soviet Composer

Dmitri Shostakovich; the Life and Background of a Soviet Composer

Dmitri Shostakovich; the Life and Background of a Soviet Composer

Excerpt

It may appear to my readers that I have given an exceptionally detailed account of Shostakovich 's family. The composer today is only thirty-seven; he has a long life of work and experience before him. When the time comes to record it in full, I believe his biographers will find much that is of value in this account of his family.

Ernest Newman writes: "In a first biography of any great artist a good deal that concerns his opinions of other people and his relations with other people has to be discreetly touched in with the lightest of strokes, if only because there are intimacies and susceptibilities on all sides to be considered."

I have taken the chance, for the sake of truth, of recording these "opinions" and "susceptibilities" where I feel the picture needs them.

"All first biographies," continues Newman, "should be written by some one with the entree to the inner circle of the subject -- able consequently not only to extract illuminative reminiscences and avowals from the subject himself, but to tap, before it is too late, the memory of those who were intimate with him in the formative, early and middle periods of his life."

In gathering the material for this book, I have had to see a number of musicians, lawyers, economists, and statesmen, both of minor and of world fame. I am indebted to them for adding to my information.

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