"I highly recommend Ian MacDonald's book The New Shostakovich.
It is one of the best biographies of Dmitri Shostakovich I have read."
MacDonald, thank you for your wonderful book on DDS..."
Note to the author from Vladimir Ashkenazy
"I have read your excellent
book The New Shostakovich...
My dear friend Maxim Shostakovich reminded me about the book
by saying: 'It is the best book written about my father...'"
Letter to the author from Seppo Heikinheimo
"Remarkable ... gets under the skin of Shostakovich and
the perversity of the Soviet system and what it has inflicted on humanity."
Letter to the author from Semyon Bychkov
"The best biography of the composer available.
A formal lesson to Western writers on post-1917 Russia,
whether their subject is music or life itself."
... a portrait of a creative artist
tormented and harried by the random assaults of Stalinism."
"Superb ... This compassionate and very knowledgeable book
is humbling in its understanding of how far an individual can be pushed
by the coercive forces of a grotesque, perhaps insane, authority."
Sydney Morning Herald
"Persuasively argued and forceful
A valid, politically driven reconsideration of the composer's works."
Harlow Robinson, New York Times Review of Books
"A monumental achievement
... impressive evidence that the authentic Shostakovich
is not the same composer described by official Soviet propaganda."
reassessment and excellent biography ... Not only a good read but
about as objective as it is possible to be now. A remarkable achievement."
Manchester Evening News
... Manages, better than any previous publication,
to make connections between Shostakovich's work and the works
of other Soviet artists whom he admired and was influenced by."
Times Educational Supplement
"Breathes new life into the story ...
The underlying thesis,
that an understanding of Shostakovich's music is impossible without a proper
appreciation of its social and historical context, is incontrovertible."
"Anyone concerned with Soviet music, twentieth-century music,
arts in politics, and politics in art, will be interested in this book."
"The most thorough study of
this enigmatic figure
yet undertaken in English (or Russian, for that matter)."
Richard Dyer, Boston Sunday Globe
MacDonald has gone some way to solving
what could be described as the Enigma Variations of Russian music."
Liverpool Daily Post
"A considerable tour de force of musical and social
which will hold its own for some time to come."
"A work of great energy and passion ... a
"Clearly organized and superbly
written ... If you really want to hear
Shostakovich's music and understand what is going on beyond the notes,
you must read The New Shostakovich."
American Record Guide