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Time, Forward!

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Author Topic: Time, Forward!  (Read 4147 times)
Neil McGowan
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« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2011, 04:58:19 pm »

I have to say that it was easy to think like that if you were average Soviet citizen. He was sanctioned composer after all, state supported etc and he went abroad.

Although DSCH went on foreign trips - mainly organised by the Culture Ministry to promote soviet music abroad - he always came back at the end of them, and he never emigrated as others did.  Nor did he have his citizenship or passport cancelled while he was abroad - as happened to Rostropovich and Vishnevskaya.

In the end I think DSCH was a patriot, and that he instinctively believed in Socialism - but not the corrupt form of Socialism practiced under Stalin. Gerard McBurney quotes Rostro on this topic, although I don't know McBurney's source for the quotation:

Rostropovich: "I has sitting having tea with Dima one afternoon - we'd been playing some music, and then listening to records. We were having a nice chat but then the telephone rang. Dima's face went white, and he sat down with telephone. He covered the receiver and whispered "It's the operator, from the Kremlin. She says to hold the line - Comrade Stalin is coming on the line!".  And then Dima began to speak with Stalin -or rather, to listen to him. "Yes, Comrade Stalin, it's me, Dmitry Shostakovich...  Yes, Comrade Stalin. Yes, of course. It is a great honour for me. But when I go to America, how shall I explain that my music is played there, and not here?  I see, Comrade Stalin.  Yes, of course, I agree with you, Comrade General Secretary. I shall do as you recommend.  I am grateful for the personal call, Comrade Stalin. Thank you. Goodbye.". Then he sat down, like a man whose soul had been torn out of him. They were sending him to America to rubbish his own music.  He had to go, of course.  He knew what would happen to his family, if he disobeyed in any way."
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