The Shostakovich family endorses Solomon Volkov – SlippediscSlippedisc

norman lebrecht

December 27, 2022

Clearing out some books the other day I came across a note, sent to me by Solomon Volkov. It contained an introduction, written by Galina and Maxim Shostakovich, for the 2006 Russian edition of Volkov’s book, Shostakovich and Stalin.

The final paragraph reads as follows:
‘We, Shostakovich’s children, who watched his life pass before our eyes, express our profound gratitude to Solomon Volkov for his marvelous work, the naked truth of which will undoubtedly help our contemporaries and future generations better to see the difficult fate of our unforgettable father and, through it, better to understand his music.’ (transl. Antonina W. Bouis)

This warm endorsement flies in the face of the claim by Richard Taruskin and his followers that the Shostakovich family regarded Volkov as ‘dishonest’ and an impostor. If there was dishonesty in the war over Shostakovich’s legacy, it was on Taruskin’s side. As time passes and Taruskin fades, Volkov emerges more and more as the bearer of truth.

That he earned the wholehearted gratitude of Shostakovich’s children is a fact unknown in English until now.

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