Reading a good book about Shostakovich right now. It’s a Young Adult book but it doesn’t shy away from any grim shit (otherwise there would be no book)

I recommend it! I love Shostakovich’s work- this book is mostly about his 7th symphony which I don’t think I’ve performed, but I’ve done 5, 8, and 10.

“When we read tales of atrocity, we all want to be the one who stood firm, who would not bend, who shouted the truth in the face of the dictator.

Vsevolod Meyerhold came as close as anyone to achieving this. It is important to know of the full horror of his sacrifice.

It is easy for us all to imagine we are heroes when we are sitting in our kitchens, dreaming of distant suffering.”

For a while, Shostakovich apparently slept on the landing outside his apartment with a suitcase because he didn’t want his wife and baby to be disturbed or hurt when the secret police came for him.

When he had an appointment to get interrogated, he spent the weekend saying goodbye to his family and showed up with said suitcase and waited for hours, only to be told that the man who was supposed to interrogate him had been condemned and arrested, so his appointment was canceled and he could go.

After that, he wrote his fifth symphony and it premiered in Leningrad, where the audience cheered for thirty fucking minutes afterward, because all his experiences were in there, and they were everyone’s experiences.


now I'm in a heck of a mood reading about what was done to Meyerhold & his wife. and as if that weren't enough I thought I'd look up Katyn ...

@deejoe you’re in for a TIME

Also, that whole shit with tukhachevsky and the red army purge, whew

@nein09 such suitcases became an icon of Soviet and now Russian dissident movement. Basically everyone who does something the government may not like, and does it for a while, has such a suitcase packed and ready for the times they get arrested. I mean, it is *still happening today* in Moscow.

@nein09 sheesh and I think this government and age is nonsensical sometimes

@compostablespork we got nothing on Stalin, thank goodness, at least we can say that

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