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No, he was wrong.

"Was Shostakovich a great composer? Not by any criteria of innovation in the language and style of music or by extraordinary powers of invention
1. Shostakovich was a great composer.

2. To measure greatness by innovation is stupid. It is the easiest thing to create new nonsense.

The music that Shostakovich wrote does not exhibit a wide range of emotions.
Not sure. Often he composed some dissonant emotional wastelands, that aren't that different to other works. Many parts of his symphonies are emotionally similar. But they are nonetheless interessting. Overall I think rhythm is a bigger part of the attraction of Shostakovich. But he also wrote great lyrical passages.

I don't know a composer before Shostakovich who wrote like Shostakovich, so I think it is fair to call it innovative.

But I think Shostakovich was at his best when he wrote conservative in the romantic sense. I'm not sure whether 19th century composers can keep up.
 

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Craft was so beholden to modernism, serialism and other musical dead ends that Shostakovich, who was really pretty traditional, was a natural enemy and target. Craft was utterly wrong - Shostakovich was a great composer. Was he as great as Beethoven, Brahms, or Prokofieff? Maybe not. He sure wrote his share of duds and a good amount of dreck - mostly to stay alive and make people happy. But the composer of Lady Macbeth, Symphonies 1, 5, 8, 9, 10, 14, many of the string quartets, the 24 preludes and fugues for piano...those are pretty convincing proof of his stature.
:confused:

So modernism is a dead end, but the things Shostakovich wrote to make people happy are dreck?

Can you name this dreck explicitly?

Only his symphony No. 9 comes to my mind to be describable as dreck. But that is proof of his stature for you.

I think there is a lot of anti-communist and modernist resentment in this forum against Shostakovich. He was a very great composer, but like many composers of his time influenced by the dead end of modernism.

Shostakovich wrote beautiful music with rejectable political messages. But to just sully on the music is the same like the modernist propaganda of Craft.
 

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The second and third symphonies. Maybe the 11th. The Song of the Forests. Poem of the Motherland.
:mad:

What a terrible comment. The song of the forests is a truly beautiful piece of music. Show me a better piece of russian choral music! Poem of the Motherland and Symphony No. 3 are great too.

The symphony No. 2 is the most modernist symphony of Shostakovich, but Shostakovich manages to make even this interessting. I guess the hate for these works is because of the lyrics, because Symphony No. 2 and The song of the forests are aesthetically completely different. But I care for the music.

Kreisler jr said:
The 9th symphony is actually one of the best, a brilliantly ironic piece. The problematic "socialist-realist movie scores" are rather pieces like 7 or 11, 12.
Oh, even his best piece the 7th symphony is problematic now? The english speaking world liked it when they were in war with Germany. Seems like they had no problem with "socialist realism" back then.
 
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