Quotes from book
Testimony

Dmitri ShostakovichOriginal title Свидетельство (Russian, 1979)

Testimony is a book that was published in October 1979 by the Russian musicologist Solomon Volkov. He claimed that it was the memoirs of the composer Dmitri Shostakovich. From its publication, its portrayal of the composer and his views was controversial: the Shostakovich of the book was sometimes critical of fellow composers, and most notably was strongly anti-Soviet in his views. The book also contained comments on his own music, indicating that it was intended as veiled criticism of the Soviet authorities and support for the dissident movement. The authenticity of the book is still very much disputed.


Dmitri Shostakovich photo
Dmitri Shostakovich photo
Dmitri Shostakovich photo
Dmitri Shostakovich photo

„What you have in your head, put down on paper. The head is a fragile vessel.“

—  Dmitri Shostakovich, book Testimony

Page 229
Testimony (1979)

Dmitri Shostakovich photo

„When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something.“

—  Dmitri Shostakovich, book Testimony

Page 175
Testimony (1979)

Dmitri Shostakovich photo
Dmitri Shostakovich photo

„Art destroys silence.“

—  Dmitri Shostakovich, book Testimony

Testimony: The Memoirs

Dmitri Shostakovich photo
Dmitri Shostakovich photo

„It's about the people, who have stopped believing because the cup of evil has run over.“

—  Dmitri Shostakovich, book Testimony

Page 8
Of his Eleventh Symphony.
Testimony (1979)

Dmitri Shostakovich photo
Dmitri Shostakovich photo
Dmitri Shostakovich photo

„The majority of my symphonies are tombstones.“

—  Dmitri Shostakovich, book Testimony

Page 156
Testimony (1979)

Dmitri Shostakovich photo
Dmitri Shostakovich photo
Dmitri Shostakovich photo

„I think it is clear to everyone what happens in the Fifth. The rejoicing is forced, created under threat, as in Boris Godunov.“

—  Dmitri Shostakovich, book Testimony

It's as if someone were beating you with a stick and saying, "Your business is rejoicing, your business is rejoicing," and you rise, shaky, and go marching off, muttering, "Our business is rejoicing, our business is rejoicing."
Page 183.
Testimony (1979)

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