Shostakovich: A Life Remembered

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The main focus of Shostakovich: A Life Remembered is to show readers who Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich was and what his private life was like. It is a biography more than an analysis of his music. Elizabeth Wilson says in her preface that this book "does not aim to deal with his musical output in any depth, or to foist new political interpretations on his life or music." I was assigned Chapter Six, "The Thaw" pages 259 - 288. This chapter starts off with background information on the "Thaw" years. It then talks a little bit about his musical pieces, but it mostly deals with his personal life. It focuses in on the marriages and the death of loved ones and the impact it had on Shostakovich. In the beginning of this chapter, Elizabeth Wilson provides the reader with some political background on the Thaw years. It all…show more content…
Nina had always kept the household and dealt with the children so after she died, Shostakovich had a lot on his plate. He complained to one of his friends saying, "If only you knew how hard my life is now." Almost a year after the death of Nina, Shostakovich's mother passed away. Wilson states that "in her, he lost the person who had done most to develop and fulfil his genius" (266). To ease the loneliness and pain, Shostakovich tried to find a woman to marry. This was not easy for him, but he married in July 1956, almost a year and a half after Nina's death. The woman of his choice was Margarita Kainova. He met her the previous month at a composers' competition at the World Festival of Youth in Moscow. She had no love or understanding of music. According to Lev Lebedinsky, Shostakovich admitted to him that he was not in love and "couldn't get out of it (the marriage) now" (274). They stayed together almost three years. Then, in the summer of 1959, Shostakovich and Margarita

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