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Shostakovich on Trial: from Lady Macbeth to the Fifth Symphony

A lecture delivered by Gresham College

The censure of Shostakovich’s opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk is one of the watershed moments of Soviet music history. This will be explored along with the composer’s path through reform to rehabilitation. The Shostakovich story was only the tip of the iceberg, and almost all Soviet composers had to adjust their aesthetic and style at this point, unless they were prepared to languish in obscurity and poverty.

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