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Music for Silenced Voices: Shostakovich and His Fifteen Quartets

Music for Silenced Voices: Shostakovich and His Fifteen Quartets

ISBN 9780300181593
Edition 1
Publication Date
Publisher Yale University Press
Author(s)
Overview
Music for Silenced Voices is a sensitive and enlightening meditation. . . . Lesser, in other words, is giving Shostakovich back to his listeners.Paul Mitchinson, Washington PostPaul MitchinsonThe Washington PostRiveting.Laurence Vittes, The Huffington PostLaurence VittesThe Huffington PostThis book is a paean to Shostakovichs quartets and their significance. In her listening, Lesseris literate, sensitive, and imaginative.Edward Rothstein, The New York Times Book ReviewEdward RothsteinThe New York Times Book Review'An essential companion for anyone planning to hear the quartets.'EdVuillamy, GuardianEd VuillamyGuardian'We need to find new approaches in order to bring music into the mainstream of general culture, where it belongs. Music for Silenced Voices helps to show that this can be done, and done well.'Jessica Duchen, StandpointJessica DuchenStandpoint'An elegant, thought-provoking synthesis of the current state of knowledge and ideas about one of the most celebrated and controversial composers of the twentieth century. It is a delight to read, and reread.'Laurel E. FayLaurel E. Fay'Lesser moves between looking at the life as a way of understanding the quartets, and using the music of the quartets as a way of comprehending the complexities of Shostakovich and the manner in which he both negotiated and was pushed through the history of Stalins Soviet Union. The always imprecise links between a life and the work that comes out of it are beautifully elucidated. The idea of the quartets as songs for not singing resonates with many other elements of Shostakovichs contradictory life.'William KentridgeWilliam Kentridge Wendy Lesser has written a fantastic book that is as exciting as a detective story. Music for Silenced Voices is a book for those who love Shostakovich and also for those who are going to love Shostakovich after they read it. A must read.Menahem PresslerMenahem PresslerThoughtful and appealing commitment to Shostakovich is so intense that she achieves what every critic must hope for: Lesser sends us straight back to the quartets, to see if we can hear what she hears.Adam Kirsch, The Barnes and Noble ReviewAdam KirschBarnes and Noble ReviewThe book does not disappoint.The cumulative effect of the book is to send us back to the music with renewed enthusiasm and enhanced insight; and the impression of Shostakovich and his world as conveyed in its pages lingers in the mind long after the cover is closed.Jessica Duchen, StandpointJessica DuchenStandpoint'It is clear that no other analyst could do better .. . Lesser has acquitted herself very well indeed, and we should hope for more from her in future.'R.J. Stove, The American ConservativeR.J. StoveThe American Conservative'A sensitive biography. . . . Her enthusiasm for the quartets is infectious.'Michael O'Donnell, The NationMichael O'DonnellThe Nation'What makes Lesser's book such a ripping good read, in addition to deeply considered music appreciation, is her intelligently personal involvement with the subject.'Jonathan Kiefer, SF WeeklyJonathan KieferSF Weekly'A sensitive and enlightening meditation. . . . Lesser is giving Shostakovich back to his listeners.'Paul Mitchinson, The Washington PostPaul MitchinsonThe Washington PostWritten with the general reader in mind, it is an altogether remarkable book; a deeply serious and scholarly yet astutely accessible and rewarding portrait of a man caught and confined within a murderous maelstrom whose response was music in which the personal and the political are indelibly, and perhaps intractably, intertwined.Michael Quinn, Classical MusicMichael QuinnClassical MusicThis is a brilliant and fascinating book.The Weekly StandardThe Weekly Standard..It is hard not to be swept up in the stories behind the Shostakovich cycle and by the zeal of Wendy Lessers advocacy. The cumulative impact of Music for Silenced Voices is considerable.John Greening, Times Literary SupplementJohn GreeningTimes Literary Supplement.this is a study that has much to offer to all who know and love Shostakovichs quartets, and there should be few performers, critics or musicologists who would read it without profit.David Fanning, GramophoneDavid FanningGramophoneA book of musical and biographical insight.Jewish Book WorldJewish Book WorldWinner of the 2011 American Publishers Awards for Professional and Scholarly Excellence (PROSE) in the Performing Arts category, as given by the Association of American Publishers PROSE Award in Music and the Performing ArtsAssociation of American PublishersLessers elegant prose brings the music and the man vividly to life.Katie Owen, The Sunday TelegraphKatie OwenThe Sunday Telegraph'An enriching read.'Helen Wallace, Financial TimesHelen WallaceFinancial Times'An enormously gripping read has that rare capacity to illuminate the music through the written word Her absorbing reflections stimulate you to think afresh about some of the most profound and disturbing music written in the last hundred years skilful interweaving of the music against a narrative that explores Shostakovich's tortured personality and his troubled relationship with the Soviet regime.'Erik Levi, BBC Music MagazineErik LeviBBC Music Magazine A rich blend of biographical anecdote and interpretation of the personal manand the public man. Lesserpresents a complex man who was aware that he was making terrible compromises to protect himself and his family.Library JournalLibrary JournalLesser has written a sensitive biographya generous reflection on his life and chamber music.Michael ODonnell, The NationMichael O'DonnellThe Nation
Overview
Music for Silenced Voices is a sensitive and enlightening meditation. . . . Lesser, in other words, is giving Shostakovich back to his listeners.Paul Mitchinson, Washington PostPaul MitchinsonThe Washington PostRiveting.Laurence Vittes, The Huffington PostLaurence VittesThe Huffington PostThis book is a paean to Shostakovichs quartets and their significance. In her listening, Lesseris literate, sensitive, and imaginative.Edward Rothstein, The New York Times Book ReviewEdward RothsteinThe New York Times Book Review'An essential companion for anyone planning to hear the quartets.'EdVuillamy, GuardianEd VuillamyGuardian'We need to find new approaches in order to bring music into the mainstream of general culture, where it belongs. Music for Silenced Voices helps to show that this can be done, and done well.'Jessica Duchen, StandpointJessica DuchenStandpoint'An elegant, thought-provoking synthesis of the current state of knowledge and ideas about one of the most celebrated and controversial composers of the twentieth century. It is a delight to read, and reread.'Laurel E. FayLaurel E. Fay'Lesser moves between looking at the life as a way of understanding the quartets, and using the music of the quartets as a way of comprehending the complexities of Shostakovich and the manner in which he both negotiated and was pushed through the history of Stalins Soviet Union. The always imprecise links between a life and the work that comes out of it are beautifully elucidated. The idea of the quartets as songs for not singing resonates with many other elements of Shostakovichs contradictory life.'William KentridgeWilliam Kentridge Wendy Lesser has written a fantastic book that is as exciting as a detective story. Music for Silenced Voices is a book for those who love Shostakovich and also for those who are going to love Shostakovich after they read it. A must read.Menahem PresslerMenahem PresslerThoughtful and appealing commitment to Shostakovich is so intense that she achieves what every critic must hope for: Lesser sends us straight back to the quartets, to see if we can hear what she hears.Adam Kirsch, The Barnes and Noble ReviewAdam KirschBarnes and Noble ReviewThe book does not disappoint.The cumulative effect of the book is to send us back to the music with renewed enthusiasm and enhanced insight; and the impression of Shostakovich and his world as conveyed in its pages lingers in the mind long after the cover is closed.Jessica Duchen, StandpointJessica DuchenStandpoint'It is clear that no other analyst could do better .. . Lesser has acquitted herself very well indeed, and we should hope for more from her in future.'R.J. Stove, The American ConservativeR.J. StoveThe American Conservative'A sensitive biography. . . . Her enthusiasm for the quartets is infectious.'Michael O'Donnell, The NationMichael O'DonnellThe Nation'What makes Lesser's book such a ripping good read, in addition to deeply considered music appreciation, is her intelligently personal involvement with the subject.'Jonathan Kiefer, SF WeeklyJonathan KieferSF Weekly'A sensitive and enlightening meditation. . . . Lesser is giving Shostakovich back to his listeners.'Paul Mitchinson, The Washington PostPaul MitchinsonThe Washington PostWritten with the general reader in mind, it is an altogether remarkable book; a deeply serious and scholarly yet astutely accessible and rewarding portrait of a man caught and confined within a murderous maelstrom whose response was music in which the personal and the political are indelibly, and perhaps intractably, intertwined.Michael Quinn, Classical MusicMichael QuinnClassical MusicThis is a brilliant and fascinating book.The Weekly StandardThe Weekly Standard..It is hard not to be swept up in the stories behind the Shostakovich cycle and by the zeal of Wendy Lessers advocacy. The cumulative impact of Music for Silenced Voices is considerable.John Greening, Times Literary SupplementJohn GreeningTimes Literary Supplement.this is a study that has much to offer to all who know and love Shostakovichs quartets, and there should be few performers, critics or musicologists who would read it without profit.David Fanning, GramophoneDavid FanningGramophoneA book of musical and biographical insight.Jewish Book WorldJewish Book WorldWinner of the 2011 American Publishers Awards for Professional and Scholarly Excellence (PROSE) in the Performing Arts category, as given by the Association of American Publishers PROSE Award in Music and the Performing ArtsAssociation of American PublishersLessers elegant prose brings the music and the man vividly to life.Katie Owen, The Sunday TelegraphKatie OwenThe Sunday Telegraph'An enriching read.'Helen Wallace, Financial TimesHelen WallaceFinancial Times'An enormously gripping read has that rare capacity to illuminate the music through the written word Her absorbing reflections stimulate you to think afresh about some of the most profound and disturbing music written in the last hundred years skilful interweaving of the music against a narrative that explores Shostakovich's tortured personality and his troubled relationship with the Soviet regime.'Erik Levi, BBC Music MagazineErik LeviBBC Music Magazine A rich blend of biographical anecdote and interpretation of the personal manand the public man. Lesserpresents a complex man who was aware that he was making terrible compromises to protect himself and his family.Library JournalLibrary JournalLesser has written a sensitive biographya generous reflection on his life and chamber music.Michael ODonnell, The NationMichael O'DonnellThe Nation

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