Dmitri Shostakovich

Quiz Yourself About the Life and Music of
Dmitri Shostakovich


What was the Zhdanov Decree and what effect did it have on Shostakovich?

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Similar to “Chaos Instead of Music”, this decree of 1948 attacked Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Khachaturian, and others, and had the effect of forcing Shostakovich to compose two types of music: one for the public, and one very different type that he kept hidden away from public view. The effect of this decree on Prokofiev was so devastating that his health, already poor, deteriorated steadily and he would die ironically on the same day as Joseph Stalin just 5 years later in 1953.

11.  How did Shostakovich’s music change after the death of Stalin in 1953?

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