1See 'Thoughts on David Fanning's Shostakovich Studies', DSCH 5 (Summer 1996), pp. 10-29.
2'The Composer Was Courageous But Not as Much as in Myth (Shostakovich's From Jewish Folk Poetry was not so much written "for the drawer" as concealed in a belated panic).' The New York Times, 14th April 1996, Section 2, pp. 27, 32.
3Dr Harold Shukman of St Antony's College, Oxford; Dr Howard Spier of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, London.
4'Fay versus Shostakovich: Whose Stupidity?', East European Jewish Affairs, Vol. 26 No. 2 (Winter 1996), pp. 5-26.
5To date, neither Fay nor Taruskin has made any response to my rebuttals of their claims.
6Ho and Feofanov, 'Shostakovich's Testimony: Reply to an Unjust Criticism' (Section A:6) in Shostakovich Reconsidered (Toccata Press, 1998).
7Op. cit., p. 4.
8Muzykal'naya Akademiya, 1992, No. 3, pp. 3-14.
9Notes, 50/2, December 1993, pp. 756-61.
10Letter on file with the authors.
11American Musicological Society (internet) email discussion group, 15th October 1997.
12E.g., Wilson, op. cit. pp. 180-1. It should be noted that Wilson's avowed intent to avoid getting 'too involved' in the matter of the authenticity of Volkov's Testimony' does not square with her editorial decision to include (op. cit., p. 125) Veniamin Basner's charge that Testimony is 'a falsified account' in that it fails to mention the story of Shostakovich's interrogation in 1937. Although Shostakovich did not confide this story to him, Solomon Volkov was aware of it through other channels, but declined to mention it in his editorial commentary on the grounds of its manifest untrustworthiness (personal communication). See MacDonald, 'You Must Remember! Shostakovich's alleged interrogation by the NKVD in 1937' in DSCH Journal No. 6 (Winter 1996), pp. 25-7.
13Some will claim that this conformity derives solely from the fact that Wilson borrowed much of the material in such passages from The New Shostakovich without making any specific attribution; yet the fact that she makes no mention of my book in hers (even in her bibliography) refutes this charge, since it would clearly be impossible for her to borrow material from a source she has never consulted.
14See also DSCH No. 2 (Winter 1994), pp. 17-21.
15'Shostakovich versus Volkov: Whose Testimony?', Russian Review, 39/4, October 1980, pp. 484-93.
16Tape on file with Allan Ho and Dmitry Feofanov.
17No. 200, April 1997, pp. 36-39.
18Op. cit., p. 55.
19Op. cit., p. 17.
20Op. cit., pp. 52-3.
21Op. cit., pp. 18, 46.
22As an example of the latter, I would offer Gramophone reviewer David Gutman, whose regular sniping at my sleevenotes for Shostakovich discs, as well as deliberately misleading in substance, is explicitly mounted on the back of his obviously gratified discovery of Taruskin's polemic on the Fifth Symphony (Gramophone, June 1996, pp. 56-8). (He even appropriates Taruskin's vocabulary. Taruskin: 'What level of criticism seeks to anthropomorphise every fugitive instrumental colour...' [Fanning, Shostakovich Studies, p. 27.] Gutman: 'Ian MacDonald's relentlessly anthropomorphizing booklet-notes...' [Gramophone, October 1997, p. 90]. Let the dog see the rabbit, as the English say.) In his review of Vladimir Ashkenazy's recent Decca recording of Shostakovich's Seventh Symphony (Gramophone, October, p. 90), Gutman claims that, in my notes for this issue, I 'manage to imply that as late as 1964 the world-renowned and much-decorated composer was most widely known in the USSR as a formalist whose music, apart from some songs and festive pieces, was banned. This cannot be right so why repeat it?' Since Gutman strives to give the impression that the statement he refers to is my own, readers may find his last sentence puzzling. In fact, the statement in question, as is clear from its context, is partly a direct quotation and partly a paraphrase of a published reminiscence by Vera Volkova, now a professor at the Nizhny Novgorod conservatoire. Volkova was 17 when she first heard Shostakovich's Seventh at a retrospective of his work in her city in 1964. She says: 'At that time we, young people, were constantly indoctrinated by the official propaganda which emphasised 'formalist deviations' in Shostakovich's work; his music was merely associated with several cheerful marches, songs, and overtures. And suddenly in his music we discovered a world of unexpected and irresistible musical beauty, tense passions. People were crying at the festival concerts, deeply experiencing the tragic revelations of the Fifth, Seventh, and Eleventh Symphonies.' This statement refers to the situation among young music students in 1964 in what was then the city of Gorky - not, as should be obvious, among older audiences (who had grown up with Shostakovich's music) in Moscow, Leningrad, and Kiev. Prohibitions both on Shostakovich's major works and on the ways in which it was permissible to discuss them - if at all - were by no means uniformly relaxed in the USSR after the 1948 resolution against 'formalism' was half-heartedly rescinded in 1958. In the Soviet provinces, as distinct from the major cities, performances of the composer's more troublesome works were sufficiently rare that an entire musical generation grew up with an inadequate grasp of the full range of his creativity. This is what Volkova is referring to, and her statement, made from her perspective as a provincial teenager in 1964, is neither contentious in itself nor was intended by her to be. I quote Volkova not because her statement is controversial, but for the interest of her attached observations on Shostakovich's Seventh Symphony. David Gutman, not for the first time where Shostakovich is concerned, elects to miss the point.
23Notes (March 1994), pp. 1210-11.
24Another example: in the AMS discussion group on 15th October 1997, Brown refers to an interview conducted with Maxim by David Fanning for Gramophone in May 1991 without mentioning that it contains statements contradicting his claims. Maxim: 'When we take this book [Testimony] into our hands we can imagine what this composer's life was like in this particular political situation - how difficult, how awful it was under the Soviet regime.' Maxim (referring to one of Sofia Khentova's books on Shostakovich): 'I hate, I khhate her book, and I told her so because she makes him look like a genuine son of the Communist Party [expletive deleted].' Fanning: 'There is a recurring theme in Maxim's remarks... that it is important to feel the history behind his father's music, to realize that the music is a mirror of its times - hence his general endorsement both of Volkov and of Ian MacDonald's The New Shostakovich.'
25The quarterly journal of the American Music Library Association.
26Notes (March 1993), p. 960; melos 4-5 (Summer 1993), p. 42. Apparently taking his lead from Brown"s claim, Stephen Johnson echoed him in The Independent (16th June 1994), claiming that the case for believing Shostakovich to have been a secret dissident depends solely on Testimony and adding that 'some who knew the composer, and who previously welcomed Testimony, have been growing more critical'. He omitted to name these alleged deserters. They have not since come to my attention.
27See my reply to Brown in Notes (March 1994), pp. 1208-10. Brown made no response to my rebuttals.
28melos 4-5 (Summer 1993), p. 46; Notes (March 1994), p. 1210.
29'No doubt Dmitri Dmitriyevich had been plied with drink, and was under its influence when he signed the "request" to be admitted to the Party... He associated joining the Party with a moral, as well as physical death.' Wilson, op. cit., pp. 336, 340.
30'At Party activist meetings, the [Thirteenth] symphony was talked about as if it were not Soviet music, although Shostakovich had recently joined the Party. Participants in those meetings asked: what sort of Party candidate is he, writing such a symphony?' Abridged from Muzykal'naya Zhizn; reproduced courtesy of Sputnik. A version of this piece appeared in DSCH, xviii, May 1992, pp. 9-12.
31Jasper Parrott, Beyond Frontiers (Collins, 1984), pp. 55-6.
32'We had been told how pressure had been exerted on him from certain quarters... Shostakovich was quite simply afraid. He feared for his children, his family, himself and his neighbour.' Wilson, op. cit., pp. 270, 308.
33'My father cried twice in his life: when his mother died and when he came home to say "They've made me join the Party"... This was sobbing, not just tears, but sobbing. It was in the 1960s that he was forced to join the Party. There was simply no other way for him at that time.' Statement made at a symposium chaired by Harlow Robinson in the Bush Pavilion at Russell Sage College, Troy, New York, on 25th January 1992.
34'Remember, at that time Shostakovich was First Secretary of the Union of Composers of the Russian Republic and was helping a lot of people in that capacity. But it simply wasn't possible in the Soviet Union then for someone in a position of that official responsibility to not be a member of the Party. All editors, for example, were members of the Party.' (Same source as previous note.)
35See Wilson, op. cit., pp. 338-9.
36'Letters', Novy Mir, 1990, No. 3.
37The New York Times, 6th November 1994, p. 25.
38Shchedrin: 'It makes me so angry. These people...' Anderson: 'You mean people like Fanning, the Western academics?' Shchedrin: 'Yes. They know nothing about it, they never lived through it, and they write things that are so deep [holds thumb and forefinger close together] - one millimetre!' Anderson: 'Ian MacDonald says the same of Laurel Fay.' Shchedrin: 'Yes, exactly; she knows nothing either.' (Conversation on 18th November 1997 at La Maison de la Radio France, Paris. By permission of Martin Anderson.)
39American Musicological Society (internet) email discussion group, 15th October 1997.
40Fanning, Shostakovich Studies, p. 31.
41AMS discussion group, 15th October 1997. Brown's statement is so evasive as to be almost impossible to interpret.
42200/12, pp. 34-40.
43The word 'perhaps', used in this context, is not meant to indicate provisionality, but is an academic convention whereby a writer, in effect, says 'This is my view, though I'm not prepared to justify it'.
44Section 2, pp. 25, 35-36.
45E.g., 'The Cold War Revived: Shostakovich and Cultural Politics. A Review of Ian MacDonald's The New Shostakovich', melos 4-5 (Summer 1993), pp. 34-41.
46E.g., sleevenote to Revelation RV10084, in which he doggedly describes Poem of the Motherland as 'a genuine celebration of the 30th anniversary of the October Revolution' and represents Shostakovich as 'remaining a convinced Communist' when he wrote the Festive Overture in 1954.
47'The Problem of Shostakovich', Commentary (February 1995), pp. 46-9.
48Tempo, No. 191 (December 1994), p. 42.
49275/2, pp. 62-72.
50MacDonald and Feofanov, 'Do Not Judge Me Harshly! Anti-Communism in Shostakovich's letters to Isaak Glikman', DSCH 8 (Winter 1997).
51Wilson, op. cit., pp. 338-9.
52The Atlantic Monthly, February 1995, pp. 71-2.
53Talk: 'Shostakovich and Us', 27th September 1996, as part of 'Speaking of Shostakovich: A Symposium' at Hunter College, New York, 27th-28th September 1996. (Tape on file with the author.)
54Ibid, p. 68.
55Ibid, p. 68.
56'Dmitri Dmitriyevich absolutely hated... having any dealings with high-up officials.' This observation leads into Glikman's account of the savage castigation by apparat review committee of Lady Macbeth in March 1956 (Wilson, op. cit., pp. 290-92).
57'Common Sense About Shostakovich: Breaking the "Hermeneutic Circle"', Southern Humanities Review, XXVI No. 2 (Spring 1992), pp. 153-167.
58Nicholas Kenyon, The Guardian, 20th May 1990.
59See my essays 'Universal Because Specific' and 'Writing About Shostakovich' in Ho and Feofanov, Shostakovich Reconsidered.
60The Atlantic Monthly, pp. 70, 72.
61For documentation on contemporary resistance to Stalinism, see Sarah Davies, Popular Opinion in Stalin's Russia: Terror, Propaganda, and Dissent: 1934-41 (Cambridge University Press, 1997).
62The Atlantic Monthly, February 1995, p. 63.
63Fanning, Shostakovich Studies, p. 47.
64 Taruskin has recently recycled his Atlantic Monthly article in the obscurely titled essay 'Shostakovich and the Inhuman: Shostakovich and Us' in his book Defining Russia Musically: Historical and Hermeneutic Essays (Princeton, 1997), pp. 468-97. As expected, his smokescreen of critical verbiage is here redoubled in an effort to show that it is theoretically impossible to determine whether Shostakovich was ever being ironic or not. (Oddly, in view of this, Taruskin begins by quoting the Odessa letter to Isaak Glikman, which he finds self-evidently ironic.) On the question of whether Shostakovich's Eleventh Symphony alludes, at the same time, to the 1905 Russian Revolution and the 1956 Hungarian Uprising, Taruskin writes: 'Did the composer intend it? The question is naive, unanswerable, and irrelevant.' The question, quite obviously, is none of these. How, for example, can it be 'naive' to ask what another person intends or intended? We spend our lives doing just that; indeed our criminal courts to a large extent function on finding answers to questions of this sort. Were such questions 'unanswerable', it would be impossible, for example, to distinguish between murder and manslaughter. Nor is the fact that Shostakovich is dead a guarantee that we can no longer discover his intentions. In the first place, we have the testimonies of those who knew him (testimonies which Taruskin arrogantly dismisses); in the second place, logic alone determines that we might yet find an explicit answer to this question in a document the composer wrote but which has not yet been discovered. That Taruskin wishes thus to impose "closure" on a question which can have no expiry date confirms both his general lack of acquaintance with logic and his unprincipled drive, at all costs, to dictate the limits of the Shostakovich debate. (In any case, Ho and Feofanov's vindication of Testimony suggests very strongly that we already have just such a document before us.) As to Taruskin's desperate suggestion that Shostakovich's intentions are 'irrelevant' to the understanding of his music, it is incredible that a supposedly intelligent participant in this debate should advance such an inane opinion at this late stage. Taruskin's own expressed views on the Odessa letter, on the slow movement of the Fifth Symphony, and on the Eighth Quartet in general clearly show that he himself takes the composer's intentions centrally into account. If what he has written in this devious and dishonest polemic means anything at all it is that views on Shostakovich's intentions should be counted 'irrelevant' if they emanate from persons other than himself.
65'A great deal of evidence suggests that in his later years Shostakovich became desperately obsessed with his historical image, and with the theme of self-justification. For he did have a history of collaboration to live down.' ('The Opera and the Dictator', New Republic, 200/12, 20th March 1989, p. 35.) To my knowledge, Taruskin has never produced any of the 'great deal of evidence' he casually refers to. (For Brown's charges, see references above.)
66Op. cit., pp. 245-64.
67The 'noble servant' of less than a year earlier did not last long!
68See my essay 'His Misty Youth: the Glivenko Letters and Life in the '20s' in Ho and Feofanov, Shostakovich Reconsidered.
69See my essay 'Naive Anti-Revisionism' in Ho and Feofanov, Shostakovich Reconsidered, note 111.
70Shostakovich's 24 Preludes and Fugues, Op. 87, as recorded by Tatiana Nikolayeva for Hyperion (CDA66441/3).
71Sleevenote to Revelation RV70002.
72'Memory is Medicine', in Yakov Rapoport, The Doctors' Plot (Fourth Estate, 1991), pp. 1-22.