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February 2014
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Exploring Music: Shostakovich

Shostakovich in 1919

Weeknights at 7:00 PM

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When Bill McGlaughlin turned his sites on Dmitri Shostakovich, it didn’t take much consideration to determine he’d need two weeks. Putting aside the enormity of this Russian’s best-known works, like the Fifth and the Tenth Symphonies, it was the composer’s ambition to compose in every genre possible from show tunes to sonatas; from choral works to quartets. He left an enormous catalog, delighting in knew instruments from Hawaiian guitars to jazz bands—and it’s been Bill McGlaughlin’s aim to cover as much of it as possible.

Shostakovich possessed such an extraordinary facility for music, he could make a party trick out of composition, owning the room with his improvised send-ups and piano pranks. His output was so large, and so varied, unpublished manuscripts remain to this day, needing careful editing and reconstruction before they can be performed.

The two-week series opens with music by teenaged Shostakovich pictured here at around 13 years of age—with cat in honor of WFMT’s February theme: The Animal Kingdom.

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