William Sterling

Dmitri Shostakovich

Prokofiev and Shostakovich

This course examined how two Russian composers came to terms with the constraints of living and working under the Soviet regime. Unlike their contemporaries, Rachmaninov and Stravinsky, both Prokofiev and Shostakovich found ways to express their artistic integrity within the strict confines of Soviet Russia. They were both censored at times but still produced some of the century’s most memorable music.

I ran this course at Crayford Manor (Bexley College) January-March 2000.

Shostakovich – the Quiet Counter- Revolutionary

Perhaps more than any other twentieth century composer, Dmitri Shostakovich’s music was a direct reflection of the turbulent and oppressive times in which he lived. It has spoken “from the heart” to generations, both within the former Soviet Union and without, in a way that more avant garde music has failed to do. This is for you if you have ever been touched by what remains some of the most enduringly popular music of the last hundred years, or are merely curious.

I gave this talk to the DfE Music Society in March 2001.

Shostakovich Works

Below is a list of Shostakovich’s works that I used for these classes.

Shotakovich works