Shostakovich and Prokofiev: Art and Legacy

Prokofiev and Shostakovich.jpg
Prokofiev and Shostakovich.jpg
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Shostakovich and Prokofiev: Art and Legacy

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8 full lectures on Shostakovich and Prokofiev. mp3 audio

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Shostakovich's music particularly speaks to our current turbulent political time. It's no accident audiences flock to performances of his music ever more frequently. The destinies of Shostakovich and Prokofiev were inextricably linked to the repressive Soviet regime under Stalin. Their compositions often had dramatic political ramifications. They both feared for their lives from criticism instigated by Stalin. Their natural modernist style was labeled "formalist." But even when they wrote in a more accessible style, they were labeled "deviant" or "vulgar." Nevertheless both Soviet and world audiences identified and thrilled to their works. Today we view both of them among the most important composers in the 20th century, and in many ways, more accessible than Stravinsky, Schoenberg, and even Bartok.

In eight lectures, we will explore their music and discuss all kinds of fascinating background and details. I work hard to make these talks accessible to all curious music lovers, using a minimum of musical jargon, but at the same time, as a composer, I seek to add an interesting musical perspective that will interest experienced listeners as well. 

SHOSTAKOVICH AND PROKOFIEV—LECTURE TOPICS: 
1. Two 20th Century "Classics"
Biographical Sketches
Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet
Shostakovich Symphony No. 5

2. Piano Works
Shostakovich Preludes and Fugues
Prokofiev Visions Fugitives

3. Prokofiev in depth
Classical Symphony
Piano Concerto No. 3

4. Shostakovich in depth
Cello concerto No. 1
String Quartet No. 8

5. Russian Symphonists
Shostakovich Symphony No. 7
Prokofiev Symphony No. 5

6. Film Music
Shostakovich The Gadfly Suite
Prokofiev Lt. Kijé Suite

7. Chamber Music
Prokofiev Flute Sonata in D Major
Shostakovich Piano Trio No. 2 in E Minor

8. Legacy
Shostakovich Testimony
Shostakovich and Prokofiev Reappraisals