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Voldemort or Stalin?

Sheila Fitzpatrick: Shostakovich

1 December 2011
Music for Silenced Voices: Shostakovich and His Fifteen Quartets 
by Wendy Lesser.
Yale, 350 pp., £18.99, April 2011, 978 0 300 16933 1
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Shostakovich in Dialogue: Form, Imagery and Ideas in Quartets 1-7 
by Judith Kuhn.
Ashgate, 296 pp., £65, February 2010, 978 0 7546 6406 2
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... emotional message, ‘that brief moment between the music’s end and the start of the clapping’. In the end, the metaphor turns out to be so all-encompassing that it doesn’t seem very useful. JudithKuhn is both a musicologist and an amateur cellist, who knows the quartets from playing as well as studying them; and her book offers musical analyses of the first seven, each introduced with a ...

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