REGISTER NOW AND GET
• 5 FREE tracks! • 101 tracks for $9.99
ClassicsOnline Home » SHOSTAKOVICH: From Jewish Folk Poetry / BLOCH: From Jewish Life
Highly Atmospheric and Enjoyable
Shostakovich was not Jewish, but throughout his life was concerned about anti-Jewish feeling in the Soviet Union and had strong sympathy for Russian Jews. He was interested in Russian Jewish folk-music and it influenced his own musical style, particularly its ironic stance in the face of the misery of life under the Soviet Union and the political oppression that accompanied it.
Shostakovich wrote these songs during a period when there was an officially encouraged anti-Jewish campaign in the USSR, just after the Second World War. It was one of the works that could not be performed until after the death of Stalin. The first eight songs of the cycle are concerned with the unrelenting misery of life for Jewish Russians and are ironic, heart-broken and jauntily defiant by turn. To get the cycle performed even in the post-Stalin times Shostakovich had to give out that these songs were concerned with life under the Czars and supply a final three songs which feature expressions of happiness and gratitude by the singers now happily ensconced on their collective farms (!) Naturally these three are even more ironic than the rest.
The remaining pieces on the album are very atmospheric arrangements for instrumental resources of songs by Bloch, and a piece on Jewish folk-themes by Prokofiev. These are all very enjoyable and round off a splendid album.more....
Last Albums Viewed
SHOSTAKOVICH: From Jewish Folk Poetry / BLOCH: Fro...