Talk:Dmitri Shostakovich

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Dmitri Shostakovich is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on June 5, 2004.
Article milestones
DateProcessResult
May 20, 2004Featured article candidatePromoted
October 21, 2007Featured article reviewKept
Current status: Featured article

BalletEdit

Went and saw the West Australian Ballet last night (29/09/2007) doing a performance of Alice - which in the first act was Alice in Wonderland and the second act was Through the Looking Glass. The score was Shostakovich's The Limpid Stream, and was so incredibly well used. Grover 02:04, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

Merge discussion of Tchaikovsky's personal lifeEdit

I strongly feel the persons "personal life" belongs to this very article. That is the very point of bio articles. -- Cat chi? 15:53, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

This makes absolutely no sense to me at all. Why on eath would we want to merge Tchaikovsky's personal life into the Shostakovich article? --Wspencer11 (talk to me...) 16:17, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
My mistake. Please disregard. I clicked the wrong page. -- Cat chi? 16:49, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Shostakovich's Prelude XXI Bb Major (Allegro) - (Part of opus 87).oggEdit

Image:Shostakovich's Prelude XXI Bb Major (Allegro) - (Part of opus 87).ogg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that my image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is not other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images uploaded after 4 May, 2006, and lacking such an explanation will be deleted one week after they have been uploaded, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 20:14, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Stupid imageEdit

I am a faithful frequenter of the Shosti page, and I found this idiotic picture of a dreamy boy tarnishing the front of the article! It was irritating to remove, and I hope that something like that won't happen again. And this is a featured article, so Wikipedia should be a bit more attentive to what people randomly insert into the editing page, blemishing the face of twentieth century genius. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Shelleyesque (talkcontribs) 04:18, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Shostakovichtimecover.jpgEdit

Image:Shostakovichtimecover.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to ensure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 05:31, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

The cyrillic nameEdit

The article lists his name Дми́трий Дми́триевич Шостако́вич. I did not know cyrillic used acute accents, nor needed unicode combining diacritical marks. Is this wrong?

I tracked the change down to ru:. It propagated 4 days later to en: (by the same IP, no less), and currently I can find the form in a whole lot of the other-language projects. fr: is still using Дмитрий Дмитриевич Шостакович. --MinorContributor (talk) 21:22, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

Looks like it is used for indicating stress, but is it really appropriate here? --MinorContributor (talk) 21:35, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

Matter of opinion, I'd say. The Cyrillic alphabet as used in the Russian language does not contain any accents. Й is a separate letter from И, not just an accented version of it. And there's endless debate about whether Ё is a formal letter at all, as distinct from Е. The umlauted version is used to ensure the letter is pronounced -yo rather than -ye, but traditionalists would argue that people should just know when to say -yo and when to say -ye; just as, before the orthography was revised, people were supposed to know not to confuse the spelling of "миръ" (peace) with "мiръ" (world) - the pronunciations are identical (see War and Peace#Title). All that aside, accents are regularly used in pedagogical texts, mainly for the benefit of learners of the language, because the stress in Russian is notoriously unpredictable. Which is why they appear in encyclopedias and the like. But I've never heard anyone have trouble in pronouncing Shost's names, so it's debatable whether there's any use for the accents in this case. -- JackofOz (talk) 21:57, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
Is there a wikipedia policy on this? WP:RUS doesn't touch the subject of marking stress. I'd think stress markings belong to an IPA version of the name. I can imagine a bunch of people (I'm one) not knowing Russian copying the name (with stress markings) for their report or something... --MinorContributor (talk) 15:37, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
I removed them, because they are likely to cause rendering errors in browsers. Whoever is learning Russian and wants to know the stress can look it up from ru:. (I noticed that someone uploaded an image with the stress markings copied into the file name. This reinforces my point.) --MinorContributor (talk) 12:31, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
FWIW, I support this change. Usually you see his name in Cyrillic without the indicated stresses. Eusebeus (talk) 15:10, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

Moving the quotes to Wikiquote?Edit

Shouldn´t the Quotations-part be moved to Wikiquote? Jopparn (talk) 13:55, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

I've deleted this section, replanting all on Wikiquote. Quotes lists are not considered encyclopedic in Wikipedia. That said, Shostakovich has some great quotes and one or two may be worth including in this article, as long as they are used in context to illustrate a point.
None of those quotes were sourced. If someone knows where they come from, Wikiquote could use help in sourcing them. / edg 15:32, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Tweaks to introEdit

I've rearranged a couple of paragraphs in the intro, and broken one paragraph into two, to help the flow and keep related ideas together. Also, I put the information about his music ahead of the controversy about his relationship with the Soviet system. I reckon the first question newcomers will have is "What kind of music did he write?" so the intro should cover that first. What does everyone else think? Perodicticus (talk) 11:59, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Looks good to me. Shouldn't there be a couple of footnotes on where the info on his compositional style and orchestration came from? Jonyungk (talk) 22:17, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Is Dimitri Shostakovich's Waltz #2 in the public domain?Edit

Is Dimitri Shostakovich's Waltz #2 in the public domain? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.131.114.10 (talk) 21:23, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

As far as I know, none of Shostakovich's works are in the public domain. His First Symphony was premiered in 1926; while it is possible that some of his student works were written before 1923, any later works would not be in the public domain as he has not been dead for 70 years. The waltz in question is from the Suite for Variety Orchestra, which was written much later and is therefore not in the public domain. --Opus 113 (talk) 03:50, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

Shostakovich v. Twentieth Century-FoxEdit

Would anyone be able to add any information on this court case? I only know what I've read on Wikipedia. Perodicticus (talk) 14:09, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

Wrong person first name. Check the Dmitry articleEdit

There are some mistakes made (or transferred from unreliable sources) in translation of russian names in Wikipedia --DpakoH (talk) 22:50, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Prankster entry on the Shostakovich pageEdit

The following entry appears as the final paragraph of Wikipedia's Shostakovich entry and was submitted in late February 2010. It was obviously submitted in the spirit of an April Fool's Day prank, as none of the major references on the composer (Fay, Wilson, etc.) make mention of such a claim, nor do any of the biographical works make any mention of Tesla, or any amateur electronic or magnetic tape devices used by the composer (see note below). The concluding Rubenstein quote is no doubt designed to reach an absurd extreme to make the hoax evident to anyone. I hope that in deference to matters of gullibility and credibility, Wikipedia discontinues its unwitting participation in the prank:

"Shostakovich's fascination with the work of electrical engineer Nikola Tesla and his own hobby of electrical experimentation was to result in perhaps his most experimental musical recording: 'глупо муравей', named after his father's playful nickname for the Cossacks, surfaced in the early 1990s. The work is notably experimental; indeed, Shostakovich is said to have created the piece with his own amateur electromagnetic devices, using magnetic tape to create its unique sounds. Arthur Rubinstein is said to have been heard saying it was "the most profound piece of music man has of yet created."[citation needed]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dmitri_Shostakovich

With regard to composition for nonstandard orchestral instruments. Shostakovich did include a short passage for Theremin in the music to the 1931 film 'Alone', and the flexatone is used in the earlty film score 'New Babylon' and early opera "Nose".

Louis Blois 69.22.195.30 (talk) 12:49, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

Znmeb (talk) 21:19, 3 April 2010 (UTC) Could we simply ask Maxim Dmitrievich about this? ;-)

Znmeb (talk) 21:08, 3 April 2010 (UTC) The Flexatone is much better known for its use in the Khachaturian Piano Concerto, of course, and is not electronic. ;-)

69.22.195.30 (talk) 13:04, 4 April 2010 (UTC) I'm frankly surprised that even with as blatant a tipoff to chicanery as the hyperbole of the Rubinstein quote, in addition to there being no factual references for any but all of the absurd claims, Wiki editors are unable to smell a rat so brazenly pungent. With guardians of Wiki content so painfully oblivious, does this not open the doors to others to perpetrate similar deeds of misinformative mischief? I suppose it's time to just throw up one's hands and laugh along in the same spirit of schadenfreude as the perpetrator. Unfortunately at the expense of Wiki's credibility.

I would like to add that Prof. Blois is a noted expert on Shostakovich and his judgment is to be trusted totally in this matter. I am frankly baffled by the gullibility of the editors that continue to try and reinstate this piece of absolute nonsense. I concur that Wikipedia's credibility has just taken a big nose dive. Alan1507 (talk) 16:24, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

His patron Tukhachevsky - reason for executionEdit

It is a dubious (and uncited) assertion to state that Tukhachevsky was repressed because of his definite opposition to Stalin. Such opposition has never been proved (quite the reverse with recent research) and the reasons for his execution remain, as with so many victims of the Terror, much debated by historians.

For that reason I'm changing that statement to a non-contentious one.Lewvalton (talk) 00:09, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

citation clean-up?Edit

The article (and the one on the TESTIMONY book) has had citation-needed and related notices for a long time. Will these ever be fixed? Btw, there seems to be some original conclusions in the Testimony article that should be dropped.98.67.179.66 (talk) 16:55, 1 December 2010 (UTC)HammerFilmFan

I am surprised that this article does not contain a single reference to Krzysztof Meyer's 1995 book Schostakowisch: sein Leben, sein Werk, seine Zeit (of which I own a Dutch translation), or is there no English translation of this book available? Francesco Malipiero (talk) 17:52, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
There is not (see Krzysztof Meyer: writings.) — Robert Greer (talk) 15:12, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

Marked in WP:USSR twiceEdit

This article is templated twice as a WP:USSR article, once as top-importance and once as mid-importance. I don't know which of these should stand, or if it should be high-importance instead, but in any event it should only be listed once. I also am not sure whether this should be a high-importance WP:SOCIALISM article, as Shostakovich did not make any major contributions to socialist philosophy or politics, but maybe he qualifies as high-importance based on his relationship with the Soviet authorities. --Opus 113 (talk) 03:58, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

I've now removed the mid-importance WP:USSR template.--Opus 113 (talk) 05:03, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Russian Siberian native…Edit

Vasiliy Yakovlevich Kokoulin, "a Russian Siberian native", I read just everywhere. There are lots of Siberian natives. Which ethnic group did Vasiliy Yakovlevich belong to ?

I’d consider this piece of information as pertinent as the mentioning of Pushkin’s African ancestor. Hirpex (talk) 18:53, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

section on "Later life"Edit

In the paragraph starting with "A preoccupation with his own mortality permeates Shostakovich's later works, among them the later quartets and the Fourteenth Symphony of 1969 ...", I just wonder whether also including a reference to the 1975 viola sonata Op. 147 might not be appropriate here. Milkunderwood (talk) 22:11, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Elizabeth Wilson's bookEdit

Shostakovich: A Life Remembered is, quite rightly, cited extensively throughout the article. The only problem is that there are now two editions of the book, of which the paginations don't match. Could people double check those citations which don't provide a publication date and try to establish which version such a citation relates to. Alfietucker (talk) 03:27, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

Merger proposalEdit

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The result of this discussion, for which a week's notice was given both on the articles Relationship between Dmitri Shostakovich and Joseph Stalin and Dmitri Shostakovich, was unanimous agreement to merge the former article into the latter. Alfietucker (talk) 16:25, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

I propose that Relationship between Dmitri Shostakovich and Joseph Stalin be merged into Dmitri Shostakovich. There is a lot of duplication of information between these articles, and the "Relationship" article at present is entirely based on a single contentious source. I admit to having perhaps more time for Solomon Volkov's book Testimony than do many Shostakovich specialists and scholars, so this is not a move against that source in principle. But it seems to me that the material covered in that separate page is already substantially covered, and in a more NPOV fashion, in Dmitri Shostakovich. I have to admit, too, that finding what looked suspiciously like a hidden WP:POVFORK to the "Relationship" article in the lede of the present article (added here[1]) - which I have removed - has made me concerned that the "Relationship" article is little more than a POV corner for those loathe to submit Volkov's book and its content to balanced appraisal. Alfietucker (talk) 22:56, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

  • Support, for the reasons you set out. The "Relationship" article appears to be an essay based on the Volkov book rather than an encyclopedic entry. --Deskford (talk) 23:04, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Support, again for the reasons you set out, as well as for the absurdity of an article title like "Relationship between Dmitri Shostakovich and Joseph Stalin". Who would possibly think to search for a title like that? Milkunderwood (talk) 23:23, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Support as above. Eusebeus (talk) 18:36, 3 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Support the size of the articles indicates we've got room to increase with the parent article. Casliber (talk · contribs) 20:29, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Time for a Featured Article Review?Edit

First, many thanks to all of you who backed the proposed merger - now done. Essentially I've included all parts of the former article "The Relationship" which didn't duplicate what was already in this article and which either had a citation or seemed to have a fair chance of getting one. I have also made another complete "sweep-through" of this article, having previously done about two-thirds of it before proposing the merge.

Unfortunately this second "sweep-through" has rather confirmed my initial impression that the article, even before this merger, had rather slipped below the standard implied by its Featured Article status. 1) The prose is often short of "engaging, even brilliant, and of a professional standard", being often quite pedestrian; 2) it can't be said to be "a thorough and representative survey of the relevant literature. Claims are verifiable against high-quality reliable sources and are supported by inline citations where appropriate". Quite apart from the fact there have been several books published in the last five years or so which the article doesn't even mention (no mention of any of Pauline Fairclough's books; no sign of the latest, comprehensively overhauled edition of Ian MacDonald's book; no Shostakovich and His World; no Cambridge Companion to Shostakovich etc etc), there simply isn't enough in-line citations, and there are several claims (some of which I have edited out) which AFAIK aren't supported by any authoritative source.

Are there any Shostakovich specialists/enthusiasts out here who are prepared to help try to bring this article up to scratch in the next week or two? Because unless we do, I think we will need to consider whether we go forward to FAR or even FARC process. I for one would rather face this and work in the long term for an article worthy to stand, for instance, with Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, rather than complacently allow this representation of DSCH to drift or degenerate further and be an embarrassment rather than a spur to inspire promotion and knowledge about this great composer. OK, I'm getting off my soapbox now. Alfietucker (talk) 23:22, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

  • Although I myself took this to FARC several (four!) years ago, my thinking has subsequently (d)evolved somewhat. In general, the purpose of FA status is to offer a "best state" for the article in question and judge closely any changes from the perspective that this standard would require. The real question then is whether one could introduce (significant) changes to DSCH without engendering an opposition backed by the implied authority of the article's FA status. I doubt that is the case here, which is to say that improvements can be offered and parts of the article reconsidered without stripping it of FA since such efforts would likely find support from other interested editors and the CM constituency in general. Rather than FARC, a better first stop would be to raise the prospects of revision to WT:CM to gauge the sentiment of those editors who are likely to be interested. I suspect such an initiative would spark support, possibly enthusiasm. The TLDR is that this can be accomplished outside of the FARC process. Eusebeus (talk) 15:07, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for your thoughts, Eusebeus. My concern is that the article as it stands is not worthy of FA status, certainly compared with others which have earned that status. Certainly it doesn't seem good for the reputation of what editors including myself are trying to achieve here (let alone Wikipedia as a whole) if newcomers find this article and its present FA ranking. Given the reasons I've given above - in short, the amount of scholarship and research that has been published since the article originally obtained its FA status, and the fact that more than half the article needs some serious work on the quality of its writing - I think it's going to take a month *at least* to fix Dmitri Shostakovich and raise it to FA status. That's assuming that two or three editors can find the time to work on it with any consistency.

That said, if we can rustle up a group of editors from CM in the next 3-4 weeks (allowing for the Christmas/holiday break) to fix the article, that would be a positive move. I'm happy to draft a proposal there (though just to say I'm "on the road" at present, so not in a position to do any substantial work just now on the article itself). But unless we can get things rolling soon, I still think we may have to go down the FA review process (if not necessarily FARC). Alfietucker (talk) 15:34, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

rumor of recordingEdit

The following has been removed from the article, and moved to the Discussion page to save the information:

  • There are also rumors about that Shostakovich recorded a piano sonata which he wrote in his early days but never showed in public or published so people could buy the music. The piano sonata is said to have the key d sharp minor and is a very diffucult piece.The recording he made however was his own but the recording company should have the recording left as well. Unfortunately the company broke up and vanished, but somwhere out there the recording might exist. (posted anonymously 28 December 2011)

Milkunderwood (talk) 05:45, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

2004 discovery of 300 pages of manuscriptEdit

I began by creating an article, Orango (opera) and then came here to move references to that work from the future tense to the past tense. I ended up expanding that note into a new sub-section, Posthumous publications. This seemed somewhat out of place so I have tried to draw together material on his music - not sure if I have achieved this or just hacked the piece!

The Notes/References now are inconsistent in terms of style, but were like this before my edit.

Otherthinker (talk) 05:36, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Agnostic/atheist?Edit

I don't really understand why the article states that Shostakovich was an agnostic, when it follows up with a quote from the man himself saying "no" in response to being asked if he believes in God. Surely that makes him an atheist (he is also on the List of atheists here on Wiki). I also don't really think the source that's given for the claim that he was an agnostic is very reliable. Grungedude22 (talk) 00:22, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

Well, he said "I am sorry", meaning that he would believe otherwise, so it is more leaning towards agnosticism than atheism.--GoPTCN 08:33, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
He might have been sorry for any Christians being offended by his views. The word "sorry" doesn't tell us whether he was agnostic or atheist or something else. Therefore I think we should just give the quotation without interpreting it. I've removed the link to Mark Harrison's article at MusicWeb: it gives only the bare statement that Shostakovich was agnostic, without any explanation or supporting evidence, and I'm not at all sure that the article is a reliable source. If I'm wrong on this last point, feel free to restore the link. However, I don't think we can say for a fact that Shostakovich was agnostic, only that Harrison believes he was agnostic. Jowa fan (talk) 04:13, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
Regardless of what he meant by his apology, I don't see how the definition of atheism changes whether the person is "sorry" for their lack of belief in a god or not. If he'd said that he had some doubts, or that he didn't know what to believe, wasn't sure, etc. then I'd see the reason for stating that he was agnostic, but he didn't; he simply said that he didn't believe in a god. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Grungedude22 (talkcontribs) 17:08, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

The article which I contributed to MusicWeb in 2000 was based on a misapprehension that Shostakovich was agnostic. Further reading suggests that it was likely that he was indeed atheist. (Mark Harrison) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 88.104.157.136 (talk) 00:10, 22 September 2013 (UTC)

Grove(s)Edit

From the Music section: This is most apparent in the late chamber works, which portray what Groves has described as a "world of purgatorial numbness";[66]. FN66 cites "Grove p. 300." There is no "Grove" in the References section, although there is "Fay, Laurel (2001)", the entry in the Grove dictionary. If this and other "Grove" footnotes refer to the dictionary, shouldn't they name Fay rather than Grove? And is that "Groves" really George Grove, the first editor of the dictionary? If so, the quoted sentence is silly: George Grove died six years before DS was born. --Stfg (talk) 13:08, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

Lacking dissenting comment, I've changed this and other instances of "by Grove" to "in Grove's Dictionary". --Stfg (talk) 11:34, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

Section on CriticismEdit

In my opinion the section on criticism is a little bit strange. For example: why it is important to note that Mr Salonen refused to conduct pieces of Shostakovich in former times. (In the meanwhile he changed his mind and published several recordings with pieces of Shostakovich.) I find it also important to comment the criticism. Otherwise there dominates a negative conclusion about Shostakovich's music, which I find that this (in an wiki about Shostakovich) should not be intended.

I find it important to stress that the main direction of criticism on Shostakovich's music comes from the avant-garde, the Second Viennese School and their supporters. Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Boulez are famous composers counting themselves to the avant-garde, and depriciating all kinds of music not belonging to this direction. Another influantial figure and opinion maker (at least in Germany) was Adorno, a strong supporter of the 2nd Vienesse School. Of course, in case of Shostakovich there was the additional (non-musical) problem that he was widely considered as the faithful state composer of the Sowjet-Regime.

I am asking whether the personal opinions of these representatives should be stated in the article about Shostakovich without to explain it more deeply or, at least, put this into relation.

For this sake I added parts of an interesting article by the american musicologist Richard Taruskin. (He also appears in other parts of the Wikipedia article.) Taruskin is not a person who supports Shostakovich without criticism. In fact, Taruskin is (like Laurel E. Fay) one of the strongest fighters against the authenticity of Volkov's Testimony. And, Taruskin got his education in music, when the "New Music" was dominant and it was taught that composers like Shostakovich are not serious. In his text (one chapter in his book "On russian music") he is explaining how these mechanism of arrogant mockery against all artists not belonging to the avant-garde was working. And he descibes how he (Taruskin) revised his opinion about Shostakovich's music completely. And he is arguing, why Shostakovich (with its "doubleness") is so powerful, and it survived until today, and is nowadays much more successful than the music of the avant-garde.

I regret that one user does not agree with the relevance of such explanations. It is not only explaining the atmosphere where and why the criticism on Shostakovich's music was (mainly) born, but it also explains a lot of the effectivness of Shostakovich's music, which I find much more interesting (in an article about Shostakovich) than the criticism itself. It seems that the relevance of such an explanation is considered to be such low that these explanations even had to be removed immediately. I would like to ask to revise that opinion, and to think about the possibility whether my paragraph could be added to this article in any form.

One argument to depreciate my paragraph was also that it is some personal opinion. I would like to stress that Taruskin is a well-known musicologist, and he is not describing just his own personal opinion, but also -- as I explained above -- the sources of the criticism against Shostakovich. Is this less important than to know that Mr Salonen was refusing to conduct Shostakovich? The same with Mr Boulez?

I append the paragraph which I would like to add:

It seems that most criticism against Shostakovich's music was influenced by the supporters of the avant-garde and the Second Viennese School. This is explained[1] very conclusive by the american musicologist Richard Taruskin. He has grown up (like most members of his generation) in an avantgardian atmosphere mainly influenced by composers like Schoenberg and Stravinsky, who tried to insulate their art from questions about its meaning and of the social world (as could be seen e.g. by Schoenberg organizing the Society for Private Performances in Vienna, where new music was disseminated among musicians in an atmosphere "uncontaminated by publicity"

(Taruskin)). In classrooms during his studies he came into contact with Shostakovich's music only as an invitation to mock along, like Bartok's mockery of the Seventh Symphony in his Concerto for Orchestra. As an extreme example Taruskin cites the critic Virgil

Thomson, writing invectively about the Seventh "That he [Shostakovich] [...] adapted it, by both excessive simplification and excessive repetition, to the comprehension of a child of eight, indicates that he is willing to write down to a [...] psychology of mass consumption in a way that may eventually disqualify him for consideration as a serious composer." Taruskin admits that he revised his opinion, about Shostakovich and about his own education in music, after a longer research stay in Moscow in the early 1970's. He was impressed by the electric atmosphere and the enthusiasm of the audiences in concert halls even when later works by Shostakovich (like his second Cello Concerto or the Fifteenth Symphony) were performed. Taruskin writes[2]:

For the first time there occurred to me, half-formed, the unbearable suspicion that the ways of listening to music and thinking about music that had been instilled in me and all my peers at home were impoverished ways. [...] the idea of Shostakovich's doubleness struck me, and with tremendous force. It was not just Shostakovich's unique stature that I sensed. His stature was among all the artists whom I could name. It was a backhanded fulfillment of the old Socialist Realist ideal -- and the older Tolstoyan ideal -- of an art that would speak with equal directness and equal consequence to all levels of society, from the least educated to the most educated. [...] [After the premiere of the Fifteenth Symphony] I was shaken that night in a way that no concert before or since has shaken me. [...] the effect of this particular evening was to rattle me out of my complacency regarding the inhumanity of the musical esthetic in which I had been raised -- an ideal that nurtured self-regard and social indifference [...] The avant-garde position [...] had become a cultural leftover, emptied of appeal not just for audiences but for artists as well. What it lacked, precisely, is the resonance that comes from doubleness. And the source of doubleness is social engagement.

--DrKssn (talk) 15:56, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

I have no problem with your source or with your use of a block quote from that source. My own personal opinions of what Taruskin says, or why, are irrelevent, as are yours. I think that you should, by all means, add material which can be clearly supported by a WP:RS, but not just supported by your own personal interpretation of that source, e.g. "He has grown up (like most members of his generation) in ... " etc. The views of any other interested editors would be very welcome. Regards. Martinevans123 (talk) 16:13, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
"He has grown up (like most members of his generation) in ... " This wrote Taruskin himself in the text. This was not *my* interpretation. Like the other passages. Maybe the only thing which is my own interpretation/conclusion is to say that the so-called avant-garde was the main source for the criticism. (But all examples listed in the text confirm this statement.) I would not mind to drop this absolute statement. On the other hand, another expert might give some additional proofs for this. --DrKssn (talk) 16:25, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
If you are quoting verbatim, directly from Taruskin, you need to use quotes, either in-line, in a block, or perhaps even in a quote box. Otherwise you should make your derivation clear by using phrases such as "According to Taruskin ...", "Taruskin argues ..." etc. Otherwise it comes across as your own personal opinion. Sorry, but we can't add any of our "own interpretation/conclusion" even if they appear (to us) to be "absolute statements." Similarly, the opinions of any other "apparently expert editors", who may care to comment here, while they may be very informative, cannot be used to directly support claims made in the article (unless they have been reliably published elsewhere). They are just classed as WP:OR. By the way, I think the main parts of your proposed additions to this section of the article are very worthwhile. Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 16:47, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
Okay, I will revise it thoroughly. --DrKssn (talk) 17:08, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ Taruskin: 27. When Serious Music Mattered. p. 299 ff. Originally published in the New Republic, 24 December 2001
  2. ^ Taruskin: 27. When Serious Music Mattered. p. 299 ff. Originally published in the New Republic, 24 December 2001.

Actually, Schoenberg himself did not hold this negative opinion on Shostakovich. From Alex Ross' piece Whistling in the Dark: 'The film composer David Raksin told me that Schoenberg once cut off a colleague who had attacked Shostakovich, saying, "That man is a composer born."' Double sharp (talk) 14:32, 23 March 2018 (UTC)

Orthodoxy and RevisionismEdit

This section is sort of baffling, especially in light of it being a discussion of his relationship with the USSR. The Revisionist line which is discussed - does it mean to imply that he was a revisionist in the Marxist sense, or that he thought that the USSR was revisionist? (Some would say - you had to be one or the other!) Or, does it mean there is an orthodox interpretation of his opinions of the Party and a revisionist one; the latter being the work of Volkov in his forged testimonials. I think it'd benefit from clarity, I'm saying... 94.10.50.121 (talk) 10:44, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

FA?Edit

This article has had a "Citation needed" template since 2010, and contains a number of unsourced paragraphs. Unless somebody deals with these issues in the near future, I will take it to WP:FAR. Toccata quarta (talk) 06:58, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

Please do. The article has been hopelessly left behind by the scholarship of the last 15 years or so, and seriously needs to catch up to justify its FA status. Alfietucker (talk) 09:25, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

Shostakovich a Soviet Russian composerEdit

Rather than get involved in an edit-war, I would like to invite editors to discuss whether it is fair and accurate to describe Shostakovich as a Soviet composer. It seems to me to be not a value judgement but a statement of fact - he was not only holder of a Soviet passport but in many ways behaved as one would expect a leading Soviet citizen to: writing works in praise of Stalin (whether he personally believed in their sentiments or not), joining the communist party and taking several leading positions within the Union of Soviet Composers. One may argue that he hated the system and expressed his true feelings in his more personal works - and even on occasion his more public works such as Symphony No. 13; but one can't pretend he was merely a "Russian" composer, in the way one can claim for - say - Serge Rachmaninoff. To remove "Soviet" from the description, IMHO, is actually doing a disservice to where Shostakovich found himself and what to a great extent determined his life and career. Alfietucker (talk) 09:33, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

I agree. "Was a Soviet composer" doesn't imply that Shostakovich agreed with the ideals and actions of the leadership of the Soviet Union. I don't see how this could be controversial at all. Toccata quarta (talk) 09:49, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

Simply to dwell within the historical period in which a certain political group is dominant is nothing like sufficient to describe an artist as if he were an expression of that group's ideology. Thus for example how ludicrous to describe The Beatles as "a British capitalist pop group." Also to describe Shostakovich as a Soviet composer has to imply that his art is specifically an expression of Soviet ideology. This is blatantly nonsensical. When some of Shostakovich's works were denounced, were these "Soviet" works of art - i.e. expressions of Soviet ideology. "To be a Soviet" is a political description of someone, not a description of the regime under which they lived. When much later in his life Shostakovich did join the Communist Party, he privately said this was a result of blackmail. To describe him as a Soviet composer is to say that the expression of Soviet/Russian Communist ideology is integral to his music. It is a description of the nature of his art, not simply a statement that he lived under a Soviet regime. Otherwise we would be describing the millions who died in the gulags as Soviet people rather than the simply nationalistic description "Russian", "Ukrainian", etc. It's akin to saying anyone who happened to have a German passport during the Nazi rule should be described as a Nazi.

Repeating myself, I would not be bothering with this were it not important to the respectful treatment of someone like Shostakovich to avoid describing him as if he as an artist primarily concerned with being a Soviet propagandist. That is what it must mean to describe him as a "Soviet composer." Another comparison to make it even more clear is that one would not describe Picasso in an introductory essay on him as "a Spanish Cubist painter", even though he did for a while paint Cubist pictures, because of course Cubism only encompasses a very small portion of his total output, and so one can not sum him up as "a Cubist painter." So even if one could argue that Shostakovich did some work at the behest of the Communists, it would be still wholly unacceptable to describe him as "a Soviet artist." My Wiki name is taken from the Russian writer Victor Pelevin. By the given rationale here, Pelevin should be described "as a Soviet writer until 1992, after which he became a Capitalist writer." — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pelevin1 (talkcontribs) 14:20, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

You are rather missing the point both Toccata quarta and I made - which is that Soviet is not merely an adjective (let alone one that describes Shostakovich as willingly subscribing to Soviet ideology), but a factual label for anyone who was a citizen of what was the USSR, which stands for Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. To identify someone as a Soviet citizen no more suggests they are pro-Soviet than to identify someone as English would identify them as pro-UK foreign policy such as e.g. the invasion of Iraq (though some fanatics choose to believe otherwise).
That said, Wikipedia doesn't go by how *we* interpret such labels, but works on building the encyclopedia on reliable sources. As to how Shostakovich might be described in an opening sentence, I have checked two relevant sources - the latest edition of New Grove, and the Oxford Concise Dictionary of Music - and they do agree in describing Shostakovich simply as "Russian composer". I guess it would have saved some time and ill feeling if one of us had thought to do this earlier - for which my apologies. But please try to avoid edit-warring in future and actually take time to discuss contested changes: then we can all at least understand or improve on such changes. Alfietucker (talk) 14:45, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
Agree that RS should be used as a yardstick, notwithstanding the "A Soviet Artist's Response to Just Criticism" description he put on the fifth symphony. William Avery (talk) 15:05, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

I don't think I am missing the point, though I think your use of Soviet citizen is helpful. If Shostakovich was described as a Soviet citizen, then this one could say would be fine. To say he is "a Soviet composer" is something quite different however - it is descriptive of his compositions. For instance if one sees a writer described as "a Marxist thinker", this of course says that thought is not 'his' thought, but instead the expression of Marxism. "A Soviet composer" has the same implications. Pelevin1 (talk) 15:18, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

Symphony of Psalms arr.Edit

Has DS' arrangement been published? Some questions are on Talk:Symphony_of_Psalms#2_Piano_Arrangement Sparafucil (talk) 00:40, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

Info boxEdit

Looks fine to me. Martinevans123 (talk) 07:59, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

What infobox? I tried to add one but it was removed: "no consensus". --Io Herodotus (talk) 03:15, 6 August 2018 (UTC)

Joining the PartyEdit

It may be fashionable to "rehabilitate" Dmitri amongst English speakers but this section is farcical (although the problem of framing is there throughout the article). Guy was a deputy of the Supreme Council for 25+ yrs. You'd think by reading this article that he spent his life fighting communism. A little- even a tiny bit- more nuanced approach would be nice. Particularly with the choice of sources. And a cutting of weasel words. (talk) 02:07, 3 November 2015 (UTC)

Missing explanationEdit

One of the sections is headed "A Soviet artist's creative response to just criticism", but this quotation is nowhere explained, attributed, or sourced. NeoAdamite (talk) 02:00, 5 October 2016 (UTC)

I changed the section heading to 'Fifth Symphony and return to favor', and inclued the quote in the body with a source and context. Ekartha 02:56, 6 June 2017 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ekartha (talkcontribs)

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InfoboxEdit

You can always tell when an article is being controlled by anti-infobox cabal. : ) GigglesnortHotel (talk) 18:33, 9 August 2017 (UTC)

Why this great featured article does not have an infobox? :) — Hamid Hassani (talk) 17:24, 11 September 2017 (UTC)

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Infobox?Edit

How come there is no infobox on this article? It has been mentioned here before, and there being "no consensus" isn't good enough an excuse for me. Why should you need consensus to add one? And, since there is none, why not? GeographyAholic talk 00:28, 16 April 2019 (UTC)

WP:ARBINFOBOX. Johnuniq (talk) 03:15, 16 April 2019 (UTC)
Going off section 4.2.2 of the article, while an infobox here may not be required, can you give me a good excuse as to why an infobox is censured on this article? GeographyAholic talk 15:14, 16 April 2019 (UTC)
Read Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Composers/Infoboxes RfC to better understand the context. Mikenorton (talk) 19:51, 16 April 2019 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand, but whatever. Majority vote I guess. GeographyAholic talk 00:17, 17 April 2019 (UTC)

Article statusEdit

How can an article with 30 "citation needed" tags have Featured Article status? 84.196.0.29 (talk) 17:20, 18 October 2019 (UTC)

United Nations On the MarchEdit

How come one of Shostakovich's most popular pieces, United Nations On the March, is not mentioned in the article?--Nahum (talk) 14:06, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

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