Cover Osteuropa 8/2006

In Osteuropa 8/2006

“Death Circles Around Me”
Shostakovich’s Sonata for Violin and Piano

Jascha Nemtsov

Deutsche Fassung


In recent decades, hardly any other important work by Dmitrii Shostakovich has led such a shadowy existence as his Sonata for Violin and Piano op. 134 from 1968. It appears to critics as “less successful”; performers brand it as “ungrateful” and “unwieldy”. With that, this composition is fundamentally unrecognised. The musical world of this sonata reflects Shostakovich’s attempt to come to terms with the issue of death. In the process, 12-tone series found their way into the composition. However, they are but one element of this portrait of death depicted in sound, which Shostakovich developed in his later work.

(Osteuropa 8/2006, pp. 93–108)