Shostakovich, monografie: visioni, immagini, suggestioni – Massimo Salotti

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An ambitious project opened the doors to the public this evening at the Aula Magna “Corrado Carradini”, Liceo Classico Ariosto in collaboration with the Scuola Civica di Musica as Massimo Salotti presented the first of a series of monthly music meetings each with a theme.

To start the series he presented his personal view of the Russian composer Shostakovich entitled “”Shostakovich, monographs: visions, images, suggestions”

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-75) lived for all but the first eleven years of his life under the communist system of the Soviet Union. As such, he was seen by the outside world as the regime’s musical laureate — a composer who wrote music for Soviet public celebrations and in honour of important events in Soviet history, as well as for films which conveyed a Soviet point of view (including depictions of Stalin in heroic terms). Lavishly honoured by the Soviet system, Shostakovich held several public offices and, in 1960, joined the Communist Party.

Testimony: The Story of Shostakovich is Tony Palmer’s award-winning film starring Ben Kingsley, based on the memoirs of Shostakovich as dictated in the book Testimony

Since his death in 1975 there has been put forward another view of his life maintaining that he was in fact a “secret or hidden dissident”. According to some, Shostakovich was for much of his life,  in conflict with the Soviet regime; and that, as such, his actions, creative and personal, betoken a man of considerable moral stature whose associated thoughts and feelings are tangible in his music, in ways both general and particular. In this view of Shostakovich, the composer is often said to have been a “secret (or hidden) dissident” – i.e., a moral dissenter who differed from the paradigmatic Soviet dissidents of the 1960s in refraining from public verbal expressions of his dissent, confining this to his music.

Massimo Salotti would seem to belong to the second point of view as he spent a good deal of time this evening talking about just how much the composer suffered under Stalin quoting at length the attacks on him in Pravda, in particular an article which was thought to have been instigated by Stalin entitled, “Muddle Instead of Music” which condemned the Bolshoi Theatre production of Lady Macbeth as formalist, “coarse, primitive and vulgar”

When he arrived at the theatre Shostakovich saw that Stalin was there. In letters written to Ivan Sollertinsky, a close friend and advisor, Shostakovich recounted the horror with which he watched as Stalin shuddered every time the brass and percussion played too loudly. Equally horrifying was the way Stalin and his companions laughed at the love-making scene between Sergei and Katerina. Eyewitness accounts testify that Shostakovich was “white as a sheet” when he went to take his bow after the third act. source Wikipedia

Massimo spoke eloquently and at length about the life and music of Shostakovich using video, images and his piano as he set out for his audience some of the concepts, influences and music from the Russian composer.

Shostakovich’s musical influence on later composers outside the former Soviet Union has been relatively slight. Many of his Russian contemporaries, and his pupils at the Leningrad Conservatory, however, were strongly influenced by his style. Shostakovich’s conservative idiom has nonetheless grown increasingly popular with audiences both within and beyond Russia, as the avant-garde has declined in influence and debate about his political views has developed. – source Wikipedia


Ha preso il via con un concerto di Massimo Salotti un ambizioso progetto che vedrà una serie di concerti a cura della Scuola civica di Musica Barga dal titolo “Gli incontri con l’artista”.

Il primo appuntamento, che si è tenuto nell’aula Magna degli istituti superiori di Barga, è stato un tributo al compositore russo Shostakovich.
Dimitri Shostakovich (1906-75) visse per quasi tutta la sua vita sotto il regime comunista dell’Unione sovietica, e per questo è stato considerato dal mondo come “il compositore” del regime russo, dato che scrisse musica per le maggiori celebrazioni sovietiche ed in onore dei più importanti eventi del regime.

Ma un altro punto di vista considera invece Shostakovich come un dissidente sotto mentite spoglie, dato che secondo molti fu spesso in conflitto con il regime sovietico.

Massimo Salotti condivide questa seconda visione sul compositore ed infatti, durante la serata, ha ben spiegato come Shostakovich subì il regime stalinista, sottolineando  gli attacchi che anche la Pravda gli rivolse; la vita e le contraddizioni di Shostakovich sono state spiegate durante il concerto con video ed immagini, sottolineando i concetti di fondo e influenze delle composizioni del maestro russo.

Il prossimo appuntamento con “Gli incontri con l’artista” sarà il prossimo 24 febbraio, con la chitarra di Fabio de Ranieri e “I colori del Sud America”; il 25 marzo si terrà invece un incontro monografico su Chopin con il pianista Pietro Rigacci e il 27 aprile su Schumann con Simone Soldati, sempre presso l’Aula magna Carradini.

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Andrea Salvoni
Andrea Salvoni

Iniziativa B-E-L-L-I-S-S-I-M-A. Complimenti a chi l’ha ideata, voluta e messa in pratica.