Winner of the 2005 Deems Taylor award for the article,
"Volokov's Testimony Reconsidered" by Laurel E. Fay
“A major event. . . . This Casebook is not only about Volkov’s Testimony, it is about music old and new in the 20th century, about the cultural legacy of one of that century’s most extravagant social experiments, and what we have to learn from them, not only what they ought to learn from us.” —Caryl Emerson, Princeton University
In 1979, the alleged memoirs of legendary composer Dmitry Shostakovich (1906–1975) were published as Testimony: The Memoirs of Dmitry Shostakovich As Related to and Edited by Solomon Volkov. Since its appearance, however, Testimony has been the focus of controversy in Shostakovich studies as doubts were raised concerning its authenticity and the role of its editor, Volkov, in creating the book.
A Shostakovich Casebook presents 25 essays, interviews, newspaper articles, and reviews—many newly available since the collapse of the Soviet Union—that review the “case” of Shostakovich. In addition to authoritatively reassessing Testimony’s genesis and reception, the authors in this book address issues of political influence on musical creativity and the role of the artist within a totalitarian society. Internationally known contributors include Richard Taruskin, Laurel E. Fay, and Irina Antonovna Shostakovich, the composer’s widow. This volume combines a balanced reconsideration of the Testimony controversy with an examination of what the controversy signifies for all music historians, performers, and thoughtful listeners.