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The Boston Globe

Music

Music Review

Jurowski leads Shostakovich’s Fourth Symphony

Some music quickly drifts free of its history, the details of commissions and premieres the stuff of learned program notes and pre-concert lectures. Other works carry the moment of their birth like a permanent shadow.

Stalin’s terror was in the air and Shostakovich was not yet 30 when he received the first dangerous condemnation of his artistic path, as published in a now notorious Pravda editorial entitled “Muddle Instead of Music.” It was the first blow in a lifelong cat-and-mouse game with the Soviet regime. We know the images of the older Shostakovich, hiding behind spectacles as thick as plate glass and music sheathed in double-meanings.

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