10 Jan 2009
Variety in Monotony
Shostakovich is one of the last great classical composers. I like his works, esp. his cycle of 24 Preludes and Fugues which follow the style of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier written 200 years earlier. If someone deserves to be called the Bach of the 20th century, it would be Shostakovich.
The following Cello sonata is one of his early works composed in 1934, it sounds a bit like film music: perpetual motion energy. Despite the constant progressive motion the repeating sequences leave an impression of stagnancy. The progress in stagnancy, dissonance in consonance and variety in monotony contribute to the complexity of the composition. Here is the 2nd movement of Shostakovich’s Cello Sonata Op.40 played by Anne Gastinel and Roger Muraro: