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Shosty's 14th?

On June 2, 2014, I wrote the following in a thread on this Forum:

Shostakovich's 14th Symphony ranks high in "gloom and doom". In fact, I believe it was musical commentator Jim Svejda on his radio program "The Record Shelf" who warned about this painfully dark symphony that no one should listen to it more than a couple of times a lifetime or it might provoke suicide. Well, I've heard it more than a few times and am still here. But I do put away out of reach all sharp objects each time I pop a copy of that work into my CD deck or onto my turntable.

Hope that's helpful for someone.
 

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It's interesting to note ... there's something comforting in the perfect symmetry of 15 symphonies and 15 string quartets... (not to mention the pairs of piano sonatas, piano trios, piano, violin and cello concertos).
One of my favorite "marathons" through my years of listening to music, often in planned, scheduled manners such as marathons based on chronological or numerical orders, is that of taking on the Shosty Symphonies alternating with the String Quartets in numerical order: Symphony 1, SQ 1, Symphony 2, SQ 2, etc. Revelatory.

I like to think of the Symphonies as Shostakovich's public statements and the S.Q.s as his most intimate, personal statements, and though that assumption is likely faulty in many ways, it makes for an intriguing premise (however fictional it may be) in a marathon listening session as described above. Try one symphony and one string quartet a day for two weeks and a day. (You still have to get past Symphonies 2 and 3, but it really gets intriguing after that!)
 
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