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Sunday, August 2, 2015

I love this: Testimony

Last year I was sitting in the Mahalia Jackson Theater tolerating a Shostakovich piece when I suddenly remembered that he'd written memoirs. During intermission, I added his Testimony to my "books to read" list in Evernote, but I'm only just now reading it.

I love it. I love his snarky, no-holds-barred writing; I love his humble honesty; I love his casual mentions of other Russian greats; I love his glimpse into the brutality of Stalin's reign. He's not my favorite composer, but I respect his music more now that I understand that it was partly his muffled rebellion against Soviet constrictions.
The veracity of Testimony has been questioned, but embellished or not - it's a great read. If you have even the slightest interest in Communism, Soviet Russia, or modern Russian music, you should check it out.


  1. This sounds intriguing! I might have to check it out!

  2. I love Shosty. I remember learning about that stuff back in school but don't remember the details, so I bet this would be really interesting.

    1. I just love his attitude. And the way he throws shade at Prokofiev.