In 1946 Schoenberg wrote of Sibelius and Shostakovich, 'I feel they have the breath of symphonists.' This book poses the question of what exactly that 'breath' means in the context of Shostakovich's 10th Symphony (1953). Written shortly after Stalin's death, the work marks a turning point in the composer's output and in the history of Russian music, heralding the possibility of a new creative direction for Soviet artists. David Fanning's close analysis of the 10th sheds light on issues associated with the genre of the twentieth-century epic symphony, issues of structure and expression, unity and contrast. The book reveals how the work displays some of Shostakovich's most effective strategies for confronting these issues.
This series was originally supported by funds made available to the Royal Musical Association from the estate of Thurston Dart. Its purpose is to provide a medium for specialized investigations of a topic, concept or repertory - studies of a kind that would not normally be feasible for commercial publishers and that would be too long for most periodicals.