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In 1936 when Muddle Instead Of Music was published Shostakovich started a scrap book of press clippings to follow what the media was saying about him. In the same spirit, this is an attempt to put together as many of such media articles I can find on the web, as a resource for friends and researchers. If you have any articles not found on this list, do send it in to contact_chloh@


2004 - 02 | 2001 |2000 |1999 | 1990 to 1998 | 1989 and earlier - Miscellaneous
2004 >

6/08/04 Ross, Alex - The New Yorker
Sounds like an American popcorn thriller, and nearly reads the same: "If Shostakovich had known what was going to be printed under his name, he might have hated Volkov with a passion that not even Joseph Stalin inspired in him." Cue thunder and lightning effect.
12/07/04 Mitchinson, Paul - www.andante.com
Wishful Thinking
"Paradoxically, one possible reason why Shostakovich has assumed such an exalted position among the intelligentsia is because of his cowardice." Peppered with gems such as these Mitchinson brings discussion on Shostakovich back to the Stone Age.
July 04

Ross, Alex - www.therestisnoise.com
Free Shostakovich!
Ross's blogsite article on why Casebook remains his favourite bedtime reader

June 04

Loh, CH - Options2, The Edge (Malaysia)
The Sound Of Conscience

The KL Edge reviews Volkov's "Shostakovich and Stalin". Why doesn't CH review this together with MH Brown's Casebook like most other decent reviewers? Only because IUP made the wise decision to avoid sending this pro-Volkovite lemming a copy.


Page, Tim - Washington Post
His Master's Voice

"Invective is slung, nits are picked, and a certain strain of distinctly academic ferocity is indulged." A sample of the profundity of Washington Post's review of Casebook and Shostakovich & Stalin.

May 04

Loeffler, James - www.nextbook.org
Hidden Sympathies
This I have none for the writer. James Loeffler makes fence-sitting an art form and tosses off inaccuracies without a conscience. But hey, isn't that what great journalism is all about, Oy!

10/04/04 Rothstein, Edward - New York Times
Where Music May Owe Stalin a Little Credit

I vote this "stupid title of the Year". Try this one for laughs: "[Muddle Instead Of Music] succeeded in shedding unexpected light on an individual work while also making such forceful points.."
24/03/04 Lebrecht, Norman - La Scena Musicale
The Fight for Shostakovich

Lebrecht reflects on the auspicious release of Indiana University Press' "Shostakovich Casebook". Love him or hate him, the man makes valid points.
Sept 01
Collected Press Clippings - various
Lady Macbeth Sees The World
Shostakovich's operatic genius is once again seeing the light of day in opera houses around the world.
Pasles, Chris - LA Times
Emerson Quartet Conveys Shostakovich's Power
Review of Emerson Quartet's Shostakovich concerts.
Kimberly, Nick - The Independent
Shostakovich's brave new world
Who could make a frothy operetta out of a Soviet housing scandal? The composer who, according to opera director David Pountney, could have been the 20th century's Verdi. Nick Kimberley discovers a very modern operatic genius
McBurney, Gerard - www.indexoncensorship.org
Surviving Stalin
McBurney talks to Judith Hall about Shostakovich
Loomis, George - Moscow Times.com
Lady Macbeth Gets Her Way At Last
Compared with the revision Shostakovich made after Stalin's death, the original is more forthright in its eroticism
Qtr 1|2|3

Dec 00

Loh, CH - The Sun, Kuala Lumpur
Shostakovich - A Musical Cold War Rages On
KL Sun's Vox pullout special feature sums up 25 years of controversy.


Fairclough, Pauline - Guardian
Concert Review
Review of Lazarev's Glasgow Concert


Sandow, Greg - Wall Street Journal
A Russian Poet Offers His Take On the Real Shostakovich
"Yevgeny Yevtushenko -- the weathered, haunted, extravagant Russian poet -- is telling me stories he's surely told many times before."


Tumelty, Michael - Glasgow Herald
At Last, The Score Is Settled
"In the end, wisdom prevailed. And Shostakovich, the composer, won the battle. The international symposium on Shostakovich, held in Glasgow ..."


Wilson, Conrad - Glasgow Herald
Russian Giant Faces A Counter Revolution
"When the British decide to place a composer on a pedestal, we can be sure that someone - also British - will invariably try to knock him off it"

Sept 00
Michael Tumelty - Glasgow Herald
Behind the monarch's mask
Alexander Lazarev: " ... Prokofiev was strong. He didn't admit to any guilt. ... But Shostakovich?" - Lazarev has only "nice" things to say.


Volkov, Solomon - New York Times
Letter to NYT
Volkov responds to Irina Shostakovich's letter


Shostakovich, Irina - New York Times (NYT)
An Answer to Those Who Still Abuse Shostakovich
The composer's widow comments on the Shostakovich debate


Kinetz, Erika - The American Prospect
The Rehabilitations Of Shostakovich
"Shostakovich's music has spawned a cottage industry of noise; journalists, academics, and critics have provided listeners with a deafening rattle of interpretation"


Ashkenazy, Vladimir - Financial Times
Papa, what if they hang you for this?
"Had the West, guided by Soviet propaganda, not thought of Shostakovich as a "loyal son" of the Soviet Union, this controversy would never have arisen"

June '00

Paul Mitchinson - Lingua Franca
The Shostakovich Variations (Excerpt)
Down with the literal paraphrasts, whoever they may be.


Philip Kennicott - Washington Post
The Shostakovich Variations (Excerpt)
Down with the literal paraphrasts, whoever they may be.


Daniel Jaffe - The Independent on Sunday (UK)
Emerson Quartet's Shostakovich Cycle
Review of the concert of the complete cycle. "It really has become like an historical event," says Emerson violinist Philip SeIzer.


Driver, Paul - Sunday Times
Review of Fay's "A Life"

Fred Mazelis - World Socialist Website
Clarifying a confused debate
Confusing or clarifying? A fine example of the dangers of the journalism-in-a-can approach to Shostakovich commentary.


Lebrecht, Norman - NYT
Letter - How Dissident?
Reply to Taruskin's criticisms



Letter - NYT
'Babi Yar' Troubles -
A reader's letter to NYT


Vulliamy, Ed - The Observer
Savaged messiah
Review of Fay's "A Life"


Holland, Bernard - NYT
Great Music Isn't Necessarily Made by Great People
"A postscript on the Shostakovich month just past and a caution: You can like the music; you don't have to like the man."


Taruskin, Richard - NYT
Will 21st Century Be Shostakovich's?
Taruskin says some nice things about Shostakovich for a change.


Taruskin, Richard - NYT
Casting a Great Composer as a Fictional Hero
Taruskin "reflect[s] at leisure on [Shostakovich's] stature as musician and, alas, as the object of a cult." Zoological observations not included


Ross, Alex - New Yorker
Ruined Choirs: How did Shostakovich's Music survive Stalin's Russia
Or, how would Shostakovich survive intelligent articles like this one

March 2000

Bernstein, Tamara - National Post
Shostakovich in shades of grey: Have revisionists kidnapped the memory of the Russian composer?
Interview with Fay: "He was a brilliant, brilliant man -- talented beyond anything that most of us can imagine. .... On the other hand, he was a wuss."

March 2000

MacDonald, Ian - post to DSCH List
Unpublished Letter to Gramophone
"In his review .... David Gutman refers, as if scornfully, to 'revisionist orthodoxy concerning the Eighth Quartet...."



Eichler, Jeremy - The Nation
Was It Good Party Music?
Review of Shostakovcich: A life


Horowitz, Joseph - NYT
Shostakovich: A Moral Beacon Amid the Darkness of a Tragic Era


Lebrecht, Norman - The Daily Telegraph
Russian roulette
Review of Fay's Shostakovich: A Life


Kettle, Martin - Guardian
Dissident Notes
What Shostakovich is really all about


Robsinson, Harlow - NYT
A Bitter Music: Was Shostakovich a loyal Soviet artist or a closet dissident?
Review of Shostakovcich: A life

Dec 99

Taruskin, Richard - NYT
Letter to the Editor
Criticism of Terry Teachout's Commentary article

Dec 99

Teachout, Terry - NYT
Letter to the Editor
Reply to Taruskin's letter

Oct 1999

Terry Teachout - Commentary
The Composer and the Commissars
"Testimony will henceforth be generally acknowledged as what Volkov has always said it was: the autobiography of Dmitri Shostakovich." - Review of Shostakovich Reconsidered


Dyer, David - ??
Book Review
Shostakovich Reconsidered reviewed

1990 - 98>
Chris Pasles - LA Times
Was He Or Wasn't He?
The Soviets claimed Dmitri Shostakovich as a true believer; others say he was secretly a dissident. The answer may lie in his work.


Oestreich, James R - NYT
Still in Debate: Shostakovich, Loyal Son or Not?


Bernstein, Tamara - National Post
Memoirs in the wrong key


Rothstein, Edward - NYT
Sly Dissident or Soviet Tool? A War Over Shostakovich Memoirs

Sept 98

Fanning, David - BBC Music Magazine
Testimony or Travesty
Fanning vents vitriol on "Shostakovich Reconsidered." Includes reply by authors Allan Ho and Dmitry Feofanov.


Amiel, Barbara - Maclean's
Lingering questions about a musical giant
Barbara Amiel's amazing insight: "If Slava couldn't hear [Suliko], I'd say it wasn't there!"


Oestreich James R - NYT
Hearing Bach and Shostakovich in Conversation


Fay, Laurel - NYT
The Composer Was Courageous, But Not As Much As In Myth
On the cycle From Jewish Folk Poetry:
Shostakovich.sure picked the wrong folk!

Feb 95

Taruskin, Richard - Atlantic Monthly
Who Was Shostakovich?
"Beware of loving friends. They can be jealous guardians" - on Glikman's Letters to a Friend.


Taruskin, Richard - NYT
A Martyred Opera Reflects Its Abominable Time
".. it remains, at the profoundest musical level, a profoundly inhumane work of art," - on Lady Macbeth, and the infamous missing comma

March 1992

Libby, Ted - Absolute Sound
Keeper Of The Flame
"For as the Twentieth Century nears its end, it is likelier than ever that Dmitri Shostakovich will be regarded as its patron musical saint.

1989 - earlier>


Taruskin, Richard - New Republic
The Opera And The Dictator
"In the days following Dmitri Shostakovich's burial in August 1975, a story went around Moscow of a bearded stranger: - on Testimony and the opera Lady Macbeth


UNKOWN - US News & World Report
Exodus of Artists Leaves Russians ''More Alone''
Interview With Maxim Shostakovich


UNKOWN - Pravda
"Muddle Instead of Music''
The infamous article that signalled Shostakovich's downfall.


Miscellaneous articles and papers



Maintained by Ch Loh 2004 at