September 25, 2006
Happy birthday, dead guy.
There's not another artistic figure who has had as great an impact on my musical life as Shostakovich, but that's not the whole story. He is also a personal hero of mine, someone who lived in the most oppressive society in human history and managed to not only survive but also to create a body of work that expresses the reality of life in Stalinist Russia with an emotional honesty and clarity that would have been impossible in any other artistic genre.
When Schuyler was a baby, I promised her I'd take her to Russia in the summer of 2006 to celebrate this anniversary with her. Obviously, it ultimately turned out to be undoable. I would feel uncomfortable traveling in Russia with a non-verbal child, and I'd feel uncomfortable traveling anywhere in the world thanks to our non-sentient president. But I'll be listening to Shostakovich's music today, and reflecting on his life.
So there you go. Some artsy fartsy music jabber for you.