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The Double Meaning of Jewish Elements in Dimitri Shostakovich's Music

Author(s): Joachim Braun


Source: The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 1 (1985), pp. 68-80
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/948173
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The DoubleMeaningofJewishElements
in Dimitri
Shostakovich's
Music
JOACHIMBRAUN
THE definitionof iconologysuggestedby thearthistorian,ErwinPanofsky,
mayalso be appliedto musicology.Panofskywrote:
of "symbolic"values(whichareoftenunknownto the
and interpretation
The discovery
intendedto
differfromwhathe consciously
artisthimselfand may evenemphatically
express)is theobjectofwhatwe maycall "iconology."1

The concern of musicologyis musical style. Insofaras musical style


can be understoodand interpretedonly in the contextof the particular
cultureor cultureswhere this style emerges,acts, and is perceived,and
insofaras it is "livingmatter"(WilliamEmpson),music,like belles lettres,
"demandsa sense,not so much of what is reallythere,as of what is necessaryto carrya particularsituationoff."2
Assuming these postulates, the followingquestions may be asked:
What is the meaning of Shostakovich'sso-called Jewishworks? When,
where,why, and how are the Jewishsubjectsand idiom involved?How
did this style functionin Soviet music in general,and in Shostakovich's
workin particular?
But firstwe must definewhat is meant by Jewishelementsor Jewish
style in Shostakovich'smusic. Jewishelementsmay be considered as:
(a) subjectsdefinedas Jewishby the composer,or the authorof the text
used by the composer(e.g., Op. 133, or Op. 91; see Table I); (b) Jewish
folkpoetry(e.g., Op. 79); (c) a melos based on the transformation
of wellknown Jewishsecularor liturgicalmelodies(e.g., Op. 79 and Op. 87): and
and structural
(d) a musical idiom which shows modal, metro-rhythmical,
affiliationto East European Jewishfolk music and is commonlyaccepted
This essay is based on a paper givenat the 13th InternationalCongressof IMS, August 3, 1982, in
Strasbourg.
Meaningin the VisualArts (GardenCity,1955), p. 31.
2 Seven
TypesofAmbiguity,3rd ed. (Hammondsworth,1961), p. 245.

68

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69
and nonprofessional
as Jewishby the Sovietlistener,bothprofessional
(e.g.,

Opp.67, 77, 83, and 107).

To understandthe meaningof Jewishelementsin Shostakovich'smusic,


it is essentialto recall the controversial
positionof Jewishculturein the
Soviet Union. Althoughthe formand substancevaried accordingto the
period, the dominantideologicalview attributedto Lenin that "the idea
of a distinctJewishpeople is scientifically
untenable,and froma political
point of view-reactionary"3is still prevalent.As a result,Jewishculture,
includingmusical culture,existed and existson the borderlineof the permitted,and the undesirableeven "anti-Soviet."This paradox of thepermitted but undesired,and the forbiddenbut not unlawful,has createda highly
the employmentof Jewish
ambiguoussituationin Soviet cultureregarding
themesand motifsin art.
Shostakovich'sinterestin Jewishsubjectsboth musicaland nonmusical,
althoughrooted in the traditionof Russian music,is withoutprecedent
in Russian music and, certainly,in Soviet music. In nineteenth-century
Russian music, the use of a Jewishmelos (or ratherpseudo-melos)was,
accordingto VladimirStasov, the expressionof the Russian interestin
Oriental"spicing"
Eastern,4and neverwent beyonda restrained
everything
of
forcoloration.Shostakovich'sapproachdoes not fitintothismainstream
"Russian interest"employedby Mussorgsky
and Rimsky-Korsakov
in their
folkloristic
style,nor does it fit into the philosophical-ethical
categoryof
Rubinsteinand Serov in theiruse of Jewishsubjects.Shostakovich'sJewish
strainsare of a basicallydifferent
nature,both in quantityand in quality.5
Table I lists twelve Shostakovichcompositionswhich include Jewish
elements: a symphony,a trio, two concertos,two stringquartets,two
vocal cycles forvoice and piano,an instrumental
cycle,and an orchestration
of one vocal cycle.In two otherworksShostakovich'scontribution
is limited
to editingothercomposers'music.
Shostakovichused Jewishelementsin threeperiods.The first,theyears
of the opera,Rothschild'sViolin,by his
1943-44,includesan orchestration
favoritepupil,VenyaminFleishman(1913-1941), and the Piano Trio,Opus
67. His relationshipwithFleishmanduring1937-41,and hiscontribution
to
Rothschild's Violin, was Shostakovich'sfirstencounterwith the Jewish
idiom.

In Fleishman'sopera can be foundin embryomostof thedeviceswhich


set Shostakovich'sJewishstyle: the Jewishmodes (Phrygianwitha raised
Quoted fromSovetskayamuzyka,VIII (1970), 104.
Selected Essays on Music, trans.Florence Jonas(London, 1968), p. 72.
5 See my Jewsand JewishElementsin Soviet Music (Tel-Aviv,1978), pp. 145-66; idem,"Shostakovich'sVocal Cycle From JewishFolk Poetry: An Attemptin Interpretation
of Style and Meaning,"
in Russian and Soviet Music: Essays for Boris Schwarz, ed. Malcolm Brown (Ann Arbor, 1984),
pp. 259-86.
3

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70
TableI
SHOSTAKOVICH'SCOMPOSITIONSWITHJEWISHSUBJECTS
AND JEWISHCOMPOSITIONSWITHHIS PARTICIPATION
Composition
1

Composed Published
3
2

1 Editionandorchestra- 1943 1965


Muzika
tionofV. Fleishman's
M
operaRothschild's
Violin

FirstPerformance
4

Jewish
Subject
5

20.7.60;M
SoloistsoftheMoscow StatePhilharmonicSociety

entirework

4thmov.:
Allegretto

2 TrioforViolin,Cello
andPiano,Op. 67

1944 1944
Muzgiz
M

14.11.44;L
Author(pf),
D. Tciganov(vl),
S. Shirinsky
(vc)

3 ConcertoforViolin
andOrchestra,
Op. 77

1947 1956
1948 Muzgiz
M

2ndmov.:
19.10.55;L
D. Oistrakh,
and the Scherzo
PhilharLeningrad
monicOrchestra
underY. Mravinsky

entirework
Folk
1948 1955
15. 1.55;L
4 FromJewish
Author
Vocal
Muzikal'ny
(pf),
Cycle
Poetry,
Fond
N. Dorliak(s),
forSoprano,ConZ. Dolukhanova
M
tralto,Tenorand
(ca),
A. Maslennikov
Piano,Op. 79
(t)
4thmov.:
5 Quartet
No. 4 forTwo 1949 1954
5.12.53;M
Beethoven-Quartet Allegretto
Violins,Viola,and
Muzgiz
M
Cello,Op. 83
(D. Tciganov,
V. Shirinsky,
V. Borisovsky,
S. Shirinsky)
23 and28.12.52;M
6 24 Preludesand
1950 1952
Pr/FNo. 8; Pr
T. Nikolayeva
No. 14; FNo.
1951 Muzgiz
FuguesforPiano;
M
87
16;Pr No. 17;
Op.
FNo. 19; F
No. 24
7 FourMonologueson
textsbyA. Pushkin
forVoiceandPiano,
Op. 91

1952 1960
Sov.
Kompozitor
M

8 ConcertoforCello,
andOrchestra
No. 1,
107
Op.

1959 1960
Muzgiz
M

No. 1:
TheFragment
3rdmov.:
4.10.59; L
M. Rostropovich, Allegrocon
andtheLeningrad moto
Philharmonic
OrchestraunderY. Mravinsky

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71
2

1
9 QuartetNo. 8 for
Two Violins,Viola,
andCello,Op. 110

1960 1961
2ndmov.:
2.10.60; L
Sov.
Beethoven-Quartet Allegromolto
Kompozitor (see Op. 83)
M

Ist mov.:
1962 1970
No. 13
10 Symphony
18.12.62;M
LeedsMusic MoscowPhilharmonic
forBassSolo, Bass
BabiyYar
Orchestra
under
Canada
Choir,andOrchestra,
K. Kondrashin,
textsbyY. YevtuV. Gromadsky
shenko,Op. 113
(bass),
andchoirunder
A. Yurlov
11 FromJewishFolk
*1963 1982
for
Muzika
Version
Poetry,
M
Voiceand Orchestra
Op. 79a (see Op. 79)

of
12 Editor-in-Chief
New
Collection
Song
JewishSongs,compiledby
Z. Kompanejetz

entirework
19.2.64;Gorki
GorkiPhilharmonic
Orchestra
under
G. Rozhdestvensky,
L. Avdeyeva
(s),
G. Pisarenko
(ca),
A. Maslennikov
(t)

1970
Sov.
Kompozitor
M

entirework

Abbreviations:
M - Moscow
L - Leningrad
Pr - Prelude
F - Fugue

* All bibliographic
sourcesmention1963 or 1964as thedateofcomposition
and biographical
ofthis
CollectedWorks
work.OnlyVolume31 of Shostakovich's
(Moscow,1982),whichbecameavailable
to me onlyafterthisarticlewasin finalproof,refers
to October1, 1948.Thisdateseemsdubious
and raisesmanyquestionswhichcannotyetbe answered
Vocal Cycle").
(see my"Shostakovich's

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72
third,known in Yiddishas freigish;Dorian witha raisedfourth,relatedto
the so-calledUkrainianmode); the descending"iambic prime"(Alexander
Dolzhansky'stermfora seriesof primeswiththe firstsound of each prime
on the weak beat); the klezmer"um-pa" accompanimentover a pedal
harmony,which oftencreatesa bitonaleffect(a devicethatcan be traced
at leastas farback as Hans Neusiedler'sJudenTanz of 1544).
Immediatelyafter Shostakovich'swork on the opera, he began the
Trio with its tragicand macabre Finale, in which the Jewishidiom is exploited. During this time, the firstinformationabout the Holocaust was
reachingthe SovietUnion.
The second period, 1948 to 1952, includesmost of the relevantworks:
the Violin Concerto,the FourthQuartet,the vocal cycleFromJewishFolk
Poetry (Op. 79), the Twenty-FourPreludesand Fugues, and the Four
Monologues.Those are the veryyearsof the consistentattemptto destroy
Soviet Jewishcultureand its institutions
and the decimationof the Jewish
intellectualelite. Over 400 writers,artists,musicians,and other creative
people werearrestedin early1949 and shotin August,1952.6
The thirdperiod dates from1959 to 1963 when Shostakovichwrote
the Cello Concerto,the EighthQuartet,the ThirteenthSymphony,and the
orchestralversionof Opus 79. This was thetimewhenall hope fora permanent "thaw" (to use Ilya Ehrenburg's
expression)had vanished.It was when
a new waveof anti-Semitism
struckSovietsociety.
forcefully
Shostakovich'slast contactwithJewishness
can be describedas a gesture
of protectionin a mood of sentimental
reminiscence:in 1970 he appeared
as editor-in-chief
of a verymediocreJewishsongcollection.
The largenumberof compositionscontainingJewishelementsand the
chronologyof theseworksare proofof a special meaningin Shostakovich's
"Jewish"works.In fact,it is the fate of Soviet Jewrythatis symbolized
in thiscorpusof music.
The manner in which this symbolismwas expressedin a particular
of the leitmotifof
compositioncan be illustratedby the transformation
thevocal cycle,FromJewishFolk Poetry.
The dominantfeaturesof this motiveare the alteredfreigishwith its
augmentedsecond,and thedescending"iambicprime."In itsmostcomplete
formthe motive appears in the "Siberian" song, the thirdof the cycle,
wherea mothersingsa lullabyeto herchild(see Ex. 1):
Sleep,mychild,mybeautiful...
Yourfather
is in Siberiain chains,
The Czar holds him in prison....

6
Joel Cang, The Silent Millions:A Historyof the Jews in the Soviet Union (New York, 1970),
93-116.
pp.

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73
Ex. 1. Shostakovich,
Op. 79

Song No. 2, mm. 13-14

I
rJI-m

Song No. 3, mm. 1-4

"JTO?

iI
........
ffl_ litj78TJT|
~Y f~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
bb

Song No. 4, mm.33-34

1S~~~~.

Song No. 5, mm.7-8


r-I

B ;4l~f

iba

Sl7f

Song No. 6, mm.71-72

Song No. 9, mm.36-37

No. 9, mm.62-64

ii$ilili$j

M I

ll ,l._q
N it7tnl

LUJ

-L

Song No. 10, mm.3-4

No. 10, mm. 102-103

tr,I --j" 1i

IN7Lr I

Song No. 11,mm. 23-28


A

I .I

it

-z

---

r
J,
_J]rr
- _
_i?M

l_

ri

IrCU

I I

6IjI

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74
This song is one of threerareexampleswhereShostakovichalteredthe
originalfolktext.The originalreads:
Sleep,mychild,mybeautiful...
Yourfather
is in Siberiain chains,
Sleep,hushabye....

Later,in 1963, Shostakovichrestoredtheoriginaltextfortheorchestral


versionof Opus 79. But in 1955, the year of the firstpublicationof the
cycle (and, certainly,in 1948 whenit was written),thisdirectreferenceto
and listenerSiberianbanishmentwas too dangerous.Everyone-performer
understoodthis allusion to the contemporarysituation.Whetheror not
this change of the originaltext was forcedupon the composeror was an
is not the only
we do not know. (This, incidentally,
act of self-censorship,
of
Jewish
Siberiansubmusic
and
in
Shostakovich's
juxtaposing
example
Four
in
his
vocal
a
exists
similar
jects:
Monologues,Op. 91.)
cycle
example
In song No. 3 of thiscycle,the motiveappearsfourtimes,and the subject
of the song itselfis a variationof the motive.In songs Nos. 2, 4, and 5
of the motiveare used. It is absentcompletelyin Nos. 1, 7, and 8.
fragments
In No. 6 (Rabbi Elye, the Innkeeper)the motiveappearsforthe last time
in the eightsongs whichformthe tragicpartof the cycle and referto the
hardshipsof thepast.7
In Rabbi Elye the motive is presentedat the climax of the tragedy.
Here a daughterwho has convertedto Christianity
points to her father
"Drive
out the old Jew!" The
and shouts to her lover,the police officer:
motive is here expanded to a diminishedoctave movingdown fromthe
loweredoctave and, reachingthe sixthbeyondthe fundamental
c, ends on
the weak beat. The entiremotivebecomesunsteady,stressedby a tiratain
Afterthisdramaticculminationthe motiveis omittedin
the contra-octave.
the next two songs. No furtherspiritualdegradationis possible; only increasingphysicalhardshipwillbe the old man'slot.
The last threesongs,the so-calledhappinesssongs(Nos. 9, 10, and 11),
formthe second part of the cycle. Carefultextual and musical analysis
suggestthat these are "tributemoney" to the systemand may even be
parody.8 Beginningwith song No. 9, the motive rapidlybegins to lose
its identity.First it acquires,at the end, a pure Phrygiancharacter.Then,
in No. 10, it acquires a conclusionentirelyalien to Jewishmodes, dropping the augmentedsecond. Finally,in No. 11, it loses the characteristic
7 Lyudmila Polyakova, Vokal'niy cikl D. Shostakovicha (Moscow, 1957), p. 6; Tatyana Kurisheva, "Kamernijvokal'nij cikl v sovremennoysovetskoymuzike" (Ph.D. diss.,Moscow Conservatory,
1968), pp. 29-30.
8 See
my "Shostakovich'sVocal Cycle."

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75

downward
movement
of the"iambicprime."The loss of itsmusicalethnic
is
now
of thespiritual
worldis accomidentity
complete.The destruction
Ex.
1).
plished(see
A considerable
part,perhapsthefinestpart,ofSovietartandliterature,
containssocial connotations
of a dissidentcharacter.9
To confirm
this
in the case of Shostakovich,
we will quote two scholarswho approach
thismatterfromextremely
oppositepositions.The firstis thejudgment
of Sovietparty-line
and criticof Shostakovich,
YuriKremlev:
musicologist
works
His [Shostakovich's]
. . . areoften
penetrated
associations,
byenigmatic
incomprefortheuninitiated
listener.10
hensible
The second quotation comes froman essay on Shostakovichby the
mathematician
and dissident,IgorShefarevitch:
well-known
to understand
thecreative
workofShostakovich,
It is forus ofspecialimportance
as it
thespiritual
lifeofa longanddramatic
reflects
mostcompletely
epoch.... Ascorollary
ofsubjecting
of itspluralistic
andthedifficulty
[it] to official
control,
interpretation,
"
ofthesamizdat.
thesignificance
[hismusic]acquired
The question is then not if such connotationsare present,but where,
when,and how theyare artistically
implemented.
From JewishFolk Poetry was withheldby Shostakovichfrompublica-

tion and performance


untilStalin'sdeathin 1955. How shouldthisbe
thekindof musicrequiredat thistime
explained?The cyclewasprecisely
It was written
official
aesthetics.
in a democratic
Soviet
(1948) by
form,
traditional
based
on
musical
folkloreand was easy
usingsimple
language
forthelistener
to understand.
The textwas folkart.Butwe areconfronted
witha paradox:a workin completeagreement
withthemusicalandartistic
of
the
is
concealed
the
author.However,evenin
requirements
Party
by
an artisticand musicalformacceptableto officialdom,
theJewish
subject
matterwas, by its mereexistence,provocative.
At a timewhenJewish
culturewas underfire,the performance
of sucha workwouldhavebeen
dangerous.
of Opus 79 are comparatively
The connotations
direct.Otherworks,
are of a morecomplexnature.For
especiallyinstrumental
compositions,
strainsappearforthefirsttime
example,theTrio,Opus 67, whereJewish

9 Andrei
Senyavsky,"Literaturniyprozess v Rossii," Kontinent,I (1974), 143-90; W. Kasack,
"Formi inoskazaniyav sovremennoyruskoyliterature,"in Une ou deux Litteraturesrusses?Colloque
international(Lausanne, 1981), pp. 123-35; my "Zur Hermeneutikder sowjetbaltischenMusik,"
XXXI (1982), 76-93.
Zeitschrift
furOstforschung,
0 Yuli Kremlev,"O desyatoy simfoniiD. Shostakovicha,"
Sovetskayamuzyka,IV (1957), 83.
"D. D. Shostakovich,"Le Messagar,125/II (1978), 233.
' Igor Shefarevitch,

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76
in Shostakovich'sown music,is dedicatedto Ivan Sollertinsky
(1902-1944),
one of the finestthinkersof prewarSoviet Russia. Condemnedby Soviet
officialcriticism,and blamed for Shostakovich's"formalism,"he was the
composer'sclosest friendand the one who introducedhim to twentiethcenturymodernmusic,art, and literature.The Trio culminatesin a tragic
finalebased on two Jewishsubjects.This movementhas been interpreted
as
a representation
of evil, of malice, of death itself,perhapsthe forcesthat
caused Sollertinsky's
death. In thisworkpersonaland social feelingsintermingle,and theyare expressedin a Jewishidiom.
In the Twenty-FourPreludesand Fugues forpiano,theJewishelements
are firstexpoundedin thePreludeand Fugue in F#minor(No. 8). They also
occur in Nos. 14, 16, 17, and 19, and finallymost decisivelyin the Fugue
or summationof theentirecycle.
in D minor(No. 24), thesynthesis
Jewishelementsalso frequentlyappear in worksthatemploythe selfidentification
motiveof the composer,D-eS-C-H(D. Shostakovichin German usage). This motivealreadyappears(in transposedform)in Fleishman's
Rothschild'sViolin. Shostakovichhimselffirstused the D-eS-C-Hformula
(also transposed)in the Scherzoof the Violin Concerto.In thismovement
the Jewishsubject is clearlygiven;it is also the movementthatdominates
the entirework.In Opus 110, theso-calledautobiographical
Quartet,No. 8,
the Jewishsubject (a quotation fromthe Trio) is again juxtaposed with
theself-identification
motive.
The ThirteenthSymphonyis our finalexample. The Jewishsubjectis
a central theme in this composition,perhaps Shostakovich'smost open
work of dissidence.The firstmovement,Babiy Yar, refersto the place in
the Ukrainewherethousandsof Jewswere killedby the Nazis; the Soviets
did not allow a memorialto be built there,but it later became a place
of unofficialpilgrimagefor Soviet Jewry.This movementwas originally
intendedby the composer as a symphonicpoem; the other fourmovements were added later.'2 Babiy Yar is based on the poem of Yevgeni
Yevtushenko,at the time a highlycontroversialfigure,almosta dissident.
'Shostakovichadded fourotherpoems by thiswriter:Humor,Fears,At the
Grocery,and Career,all openlycriticalof theregime.
The ThirteenthSymphonymay also illustrateanotherpoint.The "Jewishness"of Shostakovich'smusic increasedwiththe heightening
of the abof
stractness themusicalformand thedeepeningof itsesotericmeaning.The
more hidden the meaning,the strongeris the ethniccoloringof the music,
and themoreintenseis theJewishmusicalidiom.Conversely,
themoreopen
and directthemeaning,thelessJewishis themusic,and themoredoubtfulis
itsethnicprovenance.Thereare threedifferent
typesofthisinterdependence:
12 Lev Danilevich,Nash sovremennik:tvorchestvo
Shostakovicha(Moscow, 1965), p. 94.

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77

1. In the ThirteenthSymphony,the text speaks an open languageof


resistanceand therecan be no doubt about the centralconceptof the composer.The specificallyJewishmusicalelementis absenthere and is, in fact,
superfluous;it does not add anythingto the clear intentionof thetext.On
the contrary,the idiom is Russian: Russian chimes,Russian modes, etc.
2. From JewishFolk Poetry was a kind of stylized East European
Jewishfolk idiom. This work refutesthe claim of severalSovietmusicologists (Vasina-Grosman,Polyakova, Sokhor)'3 that Shostakovichmade no
use whateverof actual Jewishmelodies. Songs Nos. 2 and 5 are versions
Jewishfolktunes.14
of well-known
Ex. 2a. Shostakovich,
Op.79/2

oyfn,
syon (Skoletz)
S'loyfn,
s'yogn(Skoletz)

Ex. 2b. Shostakovich,


Op. 79/5

Freilikhs(Beregovsky)'4
--

- ' l:rl

|R5

However,the basic musical elementsof this song cycle are not purely
Jewish. Apart from certain individualShostakovichianfeatures(flatted
notes, for example), the work draws on a vernacularidiom that is of a
general East European nature. The structure,meter,and rhythmas well
as the modality are typical for the folk music of severalEast European
cultures.In thisworkthe composeris stillconcernedwiththesocial meaning
13 Vera Vasina-Grossman,"Noviy vokal'niy cikl D. Shostakovicha,"Sovetskava muzyka, VI
(1955), 10; ArnoldSokhor,"Bol'shaya pravdao 'malen'kom' tcheloveke,"in DmitriShostakovich,ed.
Lev Danilevich(Moscow, 1967), p. 255; Polyakova,p. 9.
14 Emil Skoletz, Yiddishefolk-lider(Tel-Aviv,1970), p. 147; Moisei Beregovsky,Yevreyskiye
narodniyepesni (Moscow, 1962), Nos. 111 and 113.

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78
of the text-the restorationof the originalfolk poetry in its orchestral
versionis proofof this.Here the more or less obviousdissidenceof thetext
is supplemented
of themusicalidiom.
by themoreor less Jewishness
Oddly enough,the folk text of this work is permissibleand has even
been cited as raw materialpar excellenceforSoviet aesthetics.The Jewishness of this material,on the other hand, is suspiciousand undesirable.
Thus, while the workas a whole has dissidentconnotations,it was not actually prohibited.As it happened,Shostakovich'sOpus 79 starteda new
trendin Soviet music, the so-called New Folklore Wave, notable for its
anti-establishment
and "national"or ethnicovertones.15
From JewishFolk Poetryhelped definethe conceptof Shostakovich's
insteadof definingtheJewishelementsin
Jewishstyle.Sovietmusicologists,
of a particularcomposiShostakovich'smusic,oftenreferto therelationship
of the musicalstyleof thisworkwith
tion to Opus 79.16 The identification
the receptionand awarenessof the Jewishness
the Jewishidiom intensified
mannerism
as a lowered
in otherworks.Evensucha typicalShostakovichian
second degree was frequentlyperceivedas relatedto the Jewishfreigish.
However,the dual ethnicnatureof the musicof such worksas the Violin
Concerto,FourthQuartet,and Cello Concertolends itselfto ambiguousinintheCelloConcerto:
on severallevels.Thiscan be demonstrated
terpretations
Ex.3. Shostakovich,
Op. 107

-@

i^Jn.

iv
f Q

'' i 'J 16.5 i


-y
Archi

HA

t ^4 i
,7

Ei
7

770

I 7*L
..IF

w*

\r

rI
I*

3I
**

v1

wt

*7

'5 Ramita Lampsatis,"DodekaphonischeWerkevon Balsys,Juzeliunasund derjiingerenKompoLitauens" (Ph.D. diss.,TechnischeUniversitat


nistengeneration
Berlin,1977); my,"Zur Hermeneutik."
16 Danilevich,p. 85; AlexanderDolzhansky,24 preludii fugi(Leningrad,1970), p. 64.

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79

The eight-measure
subjectin theLocrianmodeon C $ withthetypical
loweredfourth
and seventh
withtheC$-Gfpedalaccompaniment
canbe inof EastEuropeanfolkmusicperformance
in thetradition
terpreted
practice
wehavea typical
As a result,
detaching
melodyandpedalaccompaniment.17
Jewish
on A, evenincluding
thecharacteristic
suffixforthismode.
freigish
is typicalin JewishHassidicdancetunes,and
The two-measure
structure
of theklezmer
characteristic
performance
style(glissando,
"um-pa"accomas ethnically
paniment).This music,however,can also be interpreted
neutral:theLocrianmode,therhythmical
andstructural
theC$-G
features,
and
the
allow
also
a
generalEast
pedal accompaniment,
performance
style
Sovietmusicologist
European(Polish,Czech,or Romanian)interpretation.
of
writes
in onlya verygeneral
LevGinzburg
wayaboutthe"folkcharacter"
thismusic.'8The Sovietreaderknowsthatanyspecificcharacter-Russian
be pointedout exceptthe Jewish
or otherwise-will
aspectwhichremains
and
tacit
reader
in
concealed.Composer,musicologist,
agreement
exploit
thisSovietAesopianlanguage.
Ex.4. Shostakovich,
Op.87/8

3:"$

$r

-Y-

|Q7Lf

Weekdaymorningservice(Eisenstein)

LebeleAlukster's
chanting
(Ephros)

ys:

f r IfE
L_rt
tt.4'j--E

17

BalintSarosi,Die Volksinstrumente
Ungarns(Leipzig, 1967), pp. 107-8.
"8 Lev
Ginzburg,Issledovaniya,stat'i,ocherki(Moscow, 1971), p. 165.

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80
3. In the Twenty-FourPreludes and Fugues the social meaningof
the work is deeply hiddenin the labyrinths
of polyphonictechnique.The
structureof this music and its language,veryadvanced for Soviet music
of the early 1950s, was then consideredverycomplex. The preludeand
of theconnotations,demandedan exploitafugueform,and the abstractness
tion of sourcesother than the vernacularklezmertunes. In the Fugue in
F$ minor,for example, Shostakovichused as his model the most elevated
formof theJewishtradition,
thehazanutmelodies(see Ex. 4).19
The musical structureof prelude and fugue as well as the semantic
abstractnessof moderninstrumental
music demandedthe most authentic
Jewishidiom of all. For thispurpose,Shostakovichdrewon the sovereign
power of Jewishliturgicalmusic. To understandthis music,the listener
mustactivatethedeepestlayersof memoryand association.
The use of Jewishelementsin Shostakovich'smusicreachesfarbeyond
their specificand "colorful" Jewishness.The intrinsicmeaningof these
elementsis of a socio-symbolic
natureand may be interpreted
as concealed
dissidence.It is in facta hiddenlanguageof resistancecommunicatedto the
aware listenerof its subtle meaning.Dissidence and oppositionare here
representedby the Jewishelementwhich,because of its special place in
Soviet culture,servedas a perfectvehicleand "screeningdevice"20forthe
expressionof "symbolicvalues" consciouslyand, in part, unconsciously
employedby theartist.

19 Judith
Kaplan Eisenstein,Heritageof Music (New York, 1972), Ex. 14; Gershon Ephros,

CantorialAnthology,IV (New York, 1953), 368.


20
Edward E. Lowinsky,Secret ChromaticArt in the Netherlands(New York, 1946), p. 169.
Lowinsky'stheoryof "secret art" has greatlyinfluencedmy approachto the interpretation
of Soviet
music.

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