The Continuing Relevance Of Shostakovich

Mozart has gotten most of the attention, but this year is Shostakovich’s centenary as well, and John Terauds makes the case that the latter is far more relevant to today’s musical experience than the former. “Mozart conjures up powdered wigs, salons and silk-stockinged aristocrats. Shostakovich evokes mass media and tyranny, peace protests and global war, science and enslavement… This music can chill to the bone and tug at our heartstrings at the same time. It is tonal and rhythmic, bearing familiar sounds supported on a masterful architecture of harmony, dissonance and counterpoint — like the music of Bach.”