Dimensions of Energy in Shostakovich's Symphonies

Rofe, Michael (2012) Dimensions of Energy in Shostakovich's Symphonies. Ashgate, Farnham, Surrey, UK. ISBN 9781409407454

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Abstract / Summary

This research is built around the following premise: Shostakovich's music is often described as being energetic. But what is meant by 'energy' in music? After setting out a broad conceptual framework for approaching this question, I highlight sources of the perceived energy in Shostakovich's symphonies, describing also the historical significance of energeticist thought in Soviet Russia during the composer's formative years. Three broad approaches are adopted for the first time: Boleslav Yavorsky’s theories are used to consider melodic-harmonic motion; Boris Asafiev's work is used to describe form as a dynamic process; proportional analysis is used to reveal numerous formal symmetries and golden sections. The book ends with a detailed examination of why a piece of music might contain golden sections., The book is published by Ashgate, one of whose peer reviewers described it as ‘opening a new direction in Shostakovich studies'. Another described the final chapter as posing ‘new possibilities in regard to understanding the Golden Section and its applicability to analysis’. Leading Russian music historian Francis Maes has reviewed the book in The Russian Review (Vol. 72-4, 2013, p669ff). Describing the book as offering ‘new arguments to defend Shostakovich’s music’, he concludes that ‘Rofe’s study is a welcome addition to Shostakovich scholarship and will certainly influence the analysis of his music…this is a book that could open new vistas.

Item Type: Book
Additional Information: This book is the result of a larger body of work which has been presented at conferences and research seminars at Goldsmiths 2006, York 2006, Cardiff 2008 Kings 2009 and Durham 2011. As a result of publication of the book I have been invited to speak in St Petersburg at the next Russian Society for Music Theory conference March 2014.
ISBN: 9781409407454
Depositing User: Michael Rofe
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2013 14:20
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2023 13:24
URI: https://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/325


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