• the noise of Time
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‚The Noise of Time‘ (2016), Julian Barnes
a ‚fictional biography‘ of Dmitri Shostakovich, Soviet composer
In May 1937 a man in his early 30s waits by the lift of a Leningrad appartment block. He waits all through the night, expecting to be taken away to the Big House. Any celebrity he has known in the previous decade is no use to him now. And few who are taken to the Big House ever return. Shades of Kafka’s ‚Der Prozess‘, of Orwell’s ‚1984‘?
  • The story of the beggar on the railway station platform
  • How would we describe Shostakovich’s character?
  • His early career: Symphony No.1, 2nd. movement (Czech Philharmonic, Ancerl)
  • ‚Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk‘ (opera) and the article in ‚Pravda‘
  • Symphony no. 5, 1st movement: ‚A Soviet Artist’s Response to Just Criticism‘? (Royal Concertgebouw, Haitink)
  • Irony as mental self-defence?
  • Why the title ‚The Noise of Time‘?
  • 1940s/50s: Zhdanov – Soviet Repression
  • Emotional refuge in the String Quartets
  • Symphony no.10, 2nd movement – a ‚portrait of Stalin‘? (Arrangement for Piano Duet; Orchestral version, Philharmonia, Rattle)
  • Really a ‚fictional biography‘?
  • A good read?
  • Jazz Suite no.2 (2nd and 1st Waltzes)