chapter  4
16 Pages

Moving Towards an Understanding of Shostakovich’s Viola Sonata

ByIvan Sokolov

New facts concerning the creative biography of Dmitri Shostakovich in the 1930s, can deepen and refine the understanding of the textual and conceptual components of the most inexplicable and paradoxical symphonic works of the twentieth century. Additional knowledge about the genesis of the Fourth Symphony offers qualifications for the familiar hypotheses that the musical works of Shostakovich up to 1936 remained free in the choice of concepts, as well as in musical technique', and that despite the more tragic situation in the country, the first two years after the premiere of Lady Macbeth were undoubtedly the calmest period in Shostakovich's life'. At the beginning of the 1934, after the triumphant premire in January of the opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, Shostakovich, inspired and even a little stunned by the success, publicly notified the musical world of his new operatic plans for a tetralogy, a Soviet Ring of the Nibelungs.