Composing music is an art and a skill that should and can be learned as well as a talent that can be scratched and cultivated. Jazz, classic, Hip-hop, Country music, Rock music and even Gospel just to mention are few of the categories of solo, band, and group music compositions. All these are arts of one word after another to make lines and choruses. To elevate the art; focus and right focus to improve ought to be number one element while tuning and whining with the audience one makes. Acquiring a clear mindset and acceptance are the basic tools in music composition that inculcates and sails a composer right from scratch to the top notch.
Dmitri Shostakovich is a highly profiled classical music composer born at Podolskaya Ulitsa in Saint Petersburg in Russia. He was born in 1906 being the second born of unfortunate Dmitri Boleslavovich Shostakovich who was born in exile in Narim in 1875 by Szostakowicz, Shostakovichs paternal grandfather who was a Polish Roman Catholic descent but his forebears originated from Siberia (Shostakovich et al. 201). Consequently, the composers father studied Mathematics and physics in the same area, Saint Petersburg University. The mother Sofiya Vasilievna Kokoulina was one of the six children of a Russian Siberian native. This proficient Russian classical composer and pianist achieved his fame in the 20th-century in the Soviet Union being under his patron Mikhail (Soviet chief) though he received state awards and accolades, he had a complicated and heinous relationship with the government of the day Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR(1947-1962 (Elizabeth 4) .
The classical music genius Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich had high and quick grasp of the music content coupled with the piano teachings he received from his mother who was a pianist as well during his childhood moments mostly at the age of nine and ten (Dantes & Amy 121). Impressing enough Dmitri showed and expressed significant music talent after beginning lessons and tutorials on piano with his mother. According to Elizabeth, on several circumstances eminent ability to remember and memorize what his lovely and full of music capable mother had played at the previous session and unintentionally would be caught in the exact moment of playing the lesions he had with her mother with the intention of pretending to read different range of music placed right in front of him (111). Dantes and Amy (211) say he entered the Petrograd Conservatory in 1919 at the age of 13 receiving master controls and tutorials from Alexander Glazunov. Interestingly, he had a nice inner circle of close associates including Elena Rozanova, Leonid, Maximilan Steinberg, and Nikolay Sokolav (Shostakovich et al. 221).
Dmitry wrote First Symphony at the age of nineteen which was written as a graduation piece. Unfortunately, he failed in the exam of Marxist methodology in the year 1926 as a result he countered problems with the administration. In 1927, Shostakovich entered into a relationship with his close friend, Ivan Sollertinsky who introduced him to Gustav Mahlers music which greatly impacted his music right from Fourth Symphony onwards, unluckily enough this relationship came to untimely end with her death in the year 1944 (Dmitri 97).
Immediately after graduation, Shostakovich embarked on dual carrier acting as a composer and concert pianist but he was unappreciated by the audiences due to his regular playing style of playing dry music. However, he was awarded during the First International Frederic Chopin piano Competition in the year 1927 (Dmitri 78). Other appreciation in his way including that of; Stokowski who was the premier of his first recording work in the United States alongside the conductor, Bruno Walter who was also impressed by Shostakovichs own composition First Symphony which was engineered in Berlin the same year. This achievement made him to cultivate great interests and more focused on his own compositions and works.
Later in the same year he also worked on his satirical opera based on the story by Gogol the so called Second Symphony The Nose which received criticisms and even being referred to as formalist by RAPM, Russian Association of Proletarian Musicians. In its stage, premiere opened to poor reviews and viral ferocious widespread incomprehension within musicians. He later worked with TRAM for a short span, which was a proletarian theatre for youth where he received protection and got shield from ideological attack. Although it was such a short span he really engaged most of his time working on his opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District which was later performed first in the year 1934.
Shostakovich worked on his first film score silent movie called The New Babylon in 1929 during the Paris Commune. A Soviet Artists Reply to Just Criticism was Shostakovichs Fifth and most accredited work of art which was warmly, highly and well received and appreciated worldwide with his picture well engraved on the front covers of every Times Magazine.
With the infamous decree by Central Communist party his work of art in music and composing eclipsed. This particular committee made accusations to Shostakovich and Prokofiev in line with many other renowned composers having had belonging and any attachment to the formalist perversions. Thereafter it definitely meant and called for a change of strategy; he started to indulge himself in works that glorified his Soviet life, social, personality and history. He served for renovation and building his name for 11 years following his appointment as the first secretary of Soviet Composers Union. Seven years later Dmitry published his Second Cello Concerto which was intended to hit a lever higher that the first; contrary it dint capture his audience attention in addition to he got diagnosed with comprised heart attack (Riley 35). After such drawback and immune constraints the works after all the focus and energy was concentrated on death as the only subject with the fourteenth Symphony being a composition of songs on texts.
Beethovens Fifth Symphony is well accredited with due appraisals and warm appreciation as it is the turn-round point in the classical music. According to Riley, everybody is happy and grateful for the great impact he made to new and later composers (34). This particular work of art and performance includes very lengthy coda in which the main and critical themes are played in a compressed manner while towards the end the tempo gains power and is increased to presto (Shostakovich et al. 198). The same fifth symphony ends with 29 bars of major cords played fortissimo.
In The classical Style this ending is a reflection of unbelievably long pure C major cadence needed to ground the extreme and untold tension. It was later realized that these long chord of sequence pattern Beethoven adopted from Italian composer Luigi Cherubini who Beethoven esteemed as the most among his contemporary musicians which makes the ending of his most appreciated symphony repeats note by note (Riley 11).This Fifth symphony bears the Fate motif which has been symbolic significance as a sign of Fate knocking at the door. From Antony Hopkins description of the symphony describes that the little pattern of notes came from yellow-hammers song. The choice of key is also another important element in his works in which he chose the C minor which came to symbolize the artistic character he possessed revealing him as an hero. The intent to choose C minor does give Beethoven to us his most extroverted way and form where he is depicted to be impatient from any compromise.
Additionally, repetition of the very opening motif thought the whole symphony with the short-short-short-long rhythmic pattern contributes to the overall unity and harmony of the symphony with the use of the Folia dance that was used by many Renaissance composers emerging with a distinct rhythm and harmony (Dantes 42). After this Fifth Symphony the world of classical composers was greatly changed by first hearing the glorious creativity and work of Beethovens symphony initially they public and social concerts were so rare and well established orchestra bands unknown (Dantes 44). This fifth Symphony was received in a massive four-hour performance in 28th December 1808 that consisted of the new works of Beethovens Mass in C, Choral Fantasa and Fourth Concerto by the time his performance was commencing all the audience was frozen and exhausted since the hall was cold from winter freezing. The work was essentially an exercise in insight traversing the lines and the bottom-most heart-lending feelings standing the core thing of the lines.
With all achievements, appraisals and awards Shostakovich was regarded as a great supporter and collaborator of communalism. Not later until Solomon Volkovs Testimony: The Memoirs of Dmitry. Interestingly, he loved clean and conducive environments and quick operational services to an extent of sending himself letters to confirm that the postal service was really operational at all times. The great, tremendous, and consequential changes that took place in the classical music composers had its own scratch to with various transitions to what is termed as the new classical music of today after the transformation with great composers like Beethoven changing the colors, tone, performance, and the instrumentals.
Burrows, John. Classical Music. London: DK Pub, 2005
Dantes, Edmond, and Amy H. Jones. Beethoven. Universal, 1992.Dmitri Shostakovich. Hamburg: Sikorski Musikverl, 2005
Riley, John. Dmitri Shostakovich: A Life in Film. London [u.a.: Tauris, 2005
Shostakovich, Dmitrii D, and Solomon Volkov. Testimony: The Memoirs of Dmitri Shostakovich. New York: Limelight Editions, 2004.
Elizabeth Wilson, Shostakovich: A Life Remembered (2006), p. 4)
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