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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not that deep into Shostakovich, so I'm curious about this statement by Robert Craft in the 1970s. Back when I was in school, this was the prevailing viewpoint. Was Craft correct, or was he blowing smoke from some sort of Cold War prejudice?

“Was Shostakovich a great composer? Not by any criteria of innovation in the language and style of music or by extraordinary powers of invention . . . The music that Shostakovich wrote does not exhibit a wide range of emotions. It depends on simple contrasts of the lyrical and the dramatic, the elegaic and the grotesque, the solemn and the 'impudent' . . . The ideas are worked to death, the forms, with their cliches of crescendo and climax, tend to sprawl, and the substance is thin, maddeningly so.”
 

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Discussion Starter · #76 ·
It is difficult to comment an out of context - and with a generic "Seventies" indication - opinion..
If anyone is interested in the source of the quote, it is from the book Present Perspectives, an article titled "Testaments from Shostakovich and Prokofiev," commenting on Solomon Volkov's Testimony at page 83.
 
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