Next Monday is Labor Day; Shostakovich wrote a great many pieces intended to celebrate, one way or another, the proletariat, but unfortunately these all lie ahead of the blog’s present position. The first one on the docket will be the second symphony, opus 14, dedicated to the October Revolution. If you like, you can skip all the way ahead to 1961 and listen to the bloaty Symphony No. 12, a sort of great-grandchild to the second. Or as a less celebratory change of pace you can look to Scene 2 of Shostakovich’s opera Lady MacBeth of Mtsensk, in which a malevolent crew of 19th-century household laborers sexually assaults a female servant. Options abound.
I myself will be in Baltimore from Friday to Monday for a family wedding. I may put up a couple of posts in that time, probably depending on airport wi-fi availability, or else I’ll resume when I’m back in PDX next week. Looking ahead to the next works on the list: Another scherzo for orchestra; Shostakovich’s second most famous piano trio; a lost work for the cello; and the young composer’s graduation piece, the star-making first symphony. And beyond that, the blossoming of Shostakovich’s professional career.