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Dmitrij Šostakovič

Datum narození: 12. září 1906
Datum úmrtí: 9. srpen 1975
Další jména: Дмитрий Шостакович

Dmitrij Dmitrijevič Šostakovič, rusky Дмитрий Дмитриевич Шостакович, byl ruský skladatel a klavírista, jeden z nejvýznamnějších představitelů hudební moderny 20. století.

„Sešli jsme se, něco málo vypili, ale hymnu nevymysleli, sešli jsme se znova, něco málo vypili, ale.... “

„When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something.“

„Football is the ballet of the masses.“

„I'll admit that writing doesn't always come, but I'm totally against walking around looking at the sky when you're experiencing a block, waiting for inspiration to strike you. Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov didn't like each other and agreed on very few things, but they were of one opinion on this: you had to write constantly. If you can't write a major work, write minor trifles. If you can't write at all, orchestrate something.“

„In response to a plea in early 1941 from his colleague and friend, the writer Marietta Shaginyan, who was newly infatuated with the Piano Quintet and its creator, Mickhail Zoshchenko drafted for her a portrait of the Shostakovich he knew, a deeply complex individual:
"It seemed to you that he is “frail, fragile, withdrawn, an infinitely direct, pure child.” That is so. But if it were only so, then great art (as with him) would never be obtained. He is exactly what you say he is, plus something else — he is hard, acid, extremely intelligent, strong perhaps, despotic and not altogether good-natured (although cerebrally good-natured).

That is the combination in which he must be seen. And then it may be possible to understand his art to some degree.

In him, there are great contradictions. In him, one quality obliterates the other. It is conflict in the highest degree. It is almost a catastrophe."

Quoted in Laurel Fay: Shostakovich, a Life.“

„I do not wish to listen to people denouncing their parents.“ Testimony: The Memoirs

„[on Prokofiev] And, by the way, he never did learn how to orchestrate properly.“ Testimony: The Memoirs

„Now I can't abide rudeness, even in so called great artists. Rudeness and cruelty are the qualities i hate most. Rudeness and cruelty are always connected, I feel. One example out of many is Stalin.“ Testimony: The Memoirs

„When I hear about someone else's pain, I feel pain too. i feel pain for everything - for people and animals.“ Testimony: The Memoirs

„But I like listening to any music, including bad music. it's a professional disease, an addiction to notes. The brain finds sustenance in any combination of sounds. It works constantly, performing various composerly operations.“ Testimony: The Memoirs

„Badgering a colleague doesn't come from a fit of pique, it comes from an organic quality of the soul. And a mean soul will inevitably be reflected in music. Wagner is a convincing example of that, but far from the only one.“ Testimony: The Memoirs

„Stravinsky is one of the greatest composers of our time and I truly love many of his works. (...) The marvellous composer has invariably been at the centre of my attention, and I not only studied and listened to his music, but I played it and made my own transcriptions as well.“ Testimony: The Memoirs

„One must speak the truth about the past or not at all.“ Testimony: The Memoirs

„Most people are average, neither black nor white, but grey. A dirty shade of grey. To the best of my ability I tried to write about these people, about their completely average, commonplace dreams and hopes, and about their suspicious tendency towards murder.“

„I was a guest in the home of a conductor when I was in my early twenties. They turned on the gramophone and played a popular record of a foxtrot. I liked the foxtrot, but I didn't like the way it was played. I confided my opinion to the host, who suddenly said, 'Ah, so you don't like the way it's played? All right, if you want, write down the number by heart and orchestrate it and I'll play it. That is, of course, if you can do it and in a given amount of time: I'm giving you an hour. if you're really a genius, you should be able to write it in an hour.' I did it in 45 minutes.“ Testimony: The Memoirs

„I don't think that Prokofiev ever treated me seriously as a composer; he considered only Stravinsky a rival and never missed a chance to take a shot at him. I remember once he started telling me some vile story about Stravinsky. I cut him off.“ Testimony: The Memoirs

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