The Enigmatic Fifteen

  silenced no more

silenced no more

Just finished a fine book on Shostakovich from the distinguished writer Wendy Lesser.  (Full disclosure: I was interviewed for the book and am quoted several times.)  Ms Lesser brings a keen mind and sensitive ear to bear upon the quartets, modestly proffering a biographical interpretation of these extraordinary works as she traverses them from One (1938) to Fifteen (1974).  All along, it should be noted, she concedes that any interpretation must remain deeply subjective.  A welcome addition to the growing body of English-language Shostakovich studies, and a much-needed apologia for a cycle of works whose true greatness continues to elude too many music-lovers—and musicians—in the West.