Who was Dmitri Shostakovich? The USSR's official figurehead composer and son of the revolution that brought the Soviet state into being, or a secret dissident whose contempt for the totalitarian regime was scathing? Perhaps both? Since the posthumous publication in 1979 of alleged memoirs by Shostakovich, the controversy about the composer and his music has escalated into the most rancorous debate the world of classical music has ever kwn. Ian MacDonald's The New Shostakovich presents the case for the dissident view, arguing passionately that the meaning of the composer's music cant be fully appreciated without a kwledge of the terrible times he and his fellow artists lived through under Soviet Communism. A widely read and critically acclaimed book in the 1990s, this new edition has been comprehensively revised, extensively corrected, and updated with much new material. Whichever side of the debate readers support, The New Shostakovich presents them with a viewpoint which cant be igred.
Ian MacDonald was born in 1948. A writer of many interests, he was Assistant Editor of the New Musical Express during 1972-5. He also worked as a songwriter and record producer, and is the author of Revolution in the Head (1994;1997; 2005), The People's Music (2003) and The Beatles at No. 1 (2003). He died in 2003.