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Shostakovich Essay - Derrick Palecek Intro to Western Music...

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Derrick Palecek 10/10/2008 Intro to Western Music Dr. DiPaolo Symphony No. 5 Dmitri Shostakovich The year is 1937. November 21 st to be exact. A muggy day falls upon Leningrad. Fog has filled the streets. The men of this rather large city are all on there way home from a long days work. For many of them and their families tonight is a very special night. Tonight, the women will dress lavishly. Luxurious gowns with sequins, furs of all types, skirts that were longer in the back than the front, hats that had high crowns that were tilted every which way and had a certain flirting feeling to them. The men on the other hand were decked out in full three-piece suits with bow ties or narrow ties, along with the boys of the house. Some were also dressed in sweater vest and knickers, and things such as pocket-handkerchiefs, silk scarves, and leather gloves were encouraged when attending such an event. It may have seemed like a big night for several families, couples and friends, but no one was under more pressure than Dmitri Shostakovich, for he was presenting his Symphony No. 5 to the people of Leningrad at the philharmonic orchestra center on this muggy of days. Dmitri has been writing this specific Symphony for about six or so months and knows that it is finally ready for the public. Unknowingly Shostakovich would be presenting one of his greatest masterpieces to the people of Leningrad.
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Born in 1906, Dmitri Shostakovich began receiving piano lessons from his mother at a very young age. In 1919 he went off to study at St. Petersburg Conservatory. He graduated in 1923 with a degree in piano and then in 1925 with a degree in composition (Hurwitz 33) For graduation from the conservatory, Shostakovich wrote his Symphony No. 1. It was enthusiastically acknowledged by audiences at its 1926 premiere in Leningrad (Hurwitz 33). From then on the Leninist government realized the potential of Shostakovich and began to use him as a political tool. The Soviet cultural bureau
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