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Camerata SA captures Shostakovich's 'undeniable spirit'

Composer Dmitri Shostakovich, in 1950.
Deutsche Fotothek
Composer Dmitri Shostakovich, in 1950.

Dmitri Shostakovich is one of the most fascinating composers of the 20th century. Born in 1906, he worked steadily in the Soviet Union until his death in 1975, but not without compromise. At times he faced outright hostility from the ruling Soviet party. Cellist Ken Freudigman, co-founder Camerata San Antonio, says Shostakovich’s spirit in the face of the regime is to be admired.

"I think the element of Shostakovich's music that moves me the most is that his undeniable spirit under horrible conditions, that anybody in America really couldn't understand... he was able to still create incredible music. The emotional landscape is unbelievable, and his ability to be sarcastic in the face of Stalin's oppression is quite amazing."

In January, 2023, Camerata San Antonio presented an all-Shostakovich concert, featuring the composer's early Preludes, arranged for piano and cello by Lera Auerbach, the Piano Trio No. 2, and Shostakovich's final work, the Viola Sonata. You can listen to the program by using the audio button at the top of this page.