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Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-75)

Composer

Dmitri Shostakovich's life was characterised by various tussles with the Soviet artistic authorities - as their musical tastes and requirements ebbed and flowed, Shostakovich's style had to change with them. The most notorious example of this was his opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk - an amoral tale of adultery and murder which scandalised the authorities and led to a blunt and direct dressing-down in Pravda. Shostakovich's work was described as "muddle instead of music", and he consciously changed his compositional style in response - resulting in the more conservative (though ironically much more popular) 5th Symphony.

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