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How Shostakovich Changed My Mind Kindle Edition
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BBC music broadcaster Stephen Johnson explores the power of Shostakovich’s music during Stalin’s reign of terror, and writes of the extraordinary healing effect of music on sufferers of mental illness. Johnson looks at neurological, psychotherapeutic and philosophical findings, and reflects on his own experience, where he believes Shostakovich’s music helped him survive the trials and assaults of bipolar disorder.
There is no escapism, no false consolation in Shostakovich’s greatest music: this is some of the darkest, saddest, at times bitterest music ever composed. So why do so many feel grateful to Shostakovich for having created it—not just Russians, but westerners like Stephen Johnson, brought up in a very different, far safer kind of society? The book includes interviews with the members of the orchestra who performed Shostakovich’s Leningrad Symphony during the siege of that city.
“The book ranges well beyond Shostakovich’s work, and explores how we perceive music, the distorting effects of depression and how music can reconnect us to emotions and fellow humanity... Johnson argues that Shostakovich...testified on behalf of fellow humanity, his music concerned with ‘we’ rather than ‘I’. Part of Shostakovich’s attraction is that while he suffers he knows—and reminds his fellow sufferers—that we do not suffer alone.” —BBC Music Magazine
"Strangely, anguished music can be the most comforting: using a delicate, self-deprecating style and references encompassing everything from Greek drama to the Moomins, Johnson explores the way Shostakovich provides catharsis, transforming the personal ‘I’ into the collective ‘we.’ Profoundly moving." —The Sunday Times, “The Best Classical Music Books of 2018”
"How Shostakovich Changed my Mind is short enough and eloquent enough to read comfortably at a single two-hour stretch, without skipping over a single word…Many readers will surely find ideas in it that resonate with their own experience of Shostakovich’s music, and be grateful for having so many of them gathered so tightly together.” —Gramophone
"Strangely, anguished music can be the most comforting: using a delicate, self-deprecating style and references encompassing everything from Greek drama to the Moomins, Johnson explores the way Shostakovich provides catharsis, transforming the personal ‘I’ into the collective ‘we.’ Profoundly moving.” —The Sunday Times, “The Best Classical Music Books of 2018"
“Stephen Johnson is one of our most sensitive and thoughtful music critics, and this book, written from the heart about a composer whom he loves and admires, will prove to be a landmark in the understanding of its subject.” —Sir Roger Scruton
“I started reading and was hooked. Within a few pages I knew I had fallen into the company of the most wonderful interlocutor. Stephen Johnson take the reader from the most profound meditations on music, to delicious anecdotes about Shostakovich, to penetrating observations about the nature of art and the way it may rescue us from despair. I finished it inspired by a sense of human possibility.” —Raymond Tallis
About the Author
- ASIN : B07GMQ26LP
- Publisher : Notting Hill Editions (May 14, 2019)
- Publication date : May 14, 2019
- Language : English
- File size : 429 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 108 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,074,907 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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Top reviews from other countries
He spends a long time with his favourites - symphonies 4 and 10, string quartet 8 - and I really admire his skill in analysing what's so heart-stopping about them without reducing them to their component parts. I'll not be giving my copy of this book away - it's beautifully produced, by the way, by an old-fashioned publisher intent on keeping to the old values. It'll stay with me forever. Thank you, Mr Johnson, and go well.
reader combines with the author's personal story. The latter is delivered succinctly and without self-indulgence and the whole delivers an intelligent and sensitive insight into both the mind and music of Shostakovich and Stephen Johnson