“Eternal Memory”

 

‘A Long Journey;’ pp 49-51

 

Posted here (above) are the third movement of Dmitri Shostakovich’s eleventh symphony; and an excerpt from A Long Journey: The Autobiography of Pitirim A. Sorokin.

The third movement, “Eternal Memory,” starts with a halting motion on pizzicato strings, over which a noble melody (“You Fell As Victims,” most famous of all the revolutionary songs and whose deployment was by no means limited to Soviet composers) is heard on violas then extended to upper strings. A somber new theme, heard initially on woodwind and brass before being transformed on violins, begins the ascent to the apex, at the summit of which the climactic motif from the previous movement is sounded out balefully on full orchestra, underpinned by pounding timpani that continue as the intensity subsides. The viola melody, now a distant recessional, is heard again before pizzicato strings arrive at a questioning pause.”

– program notes to a recording of Shostakovich’s Eleventh

Note that the beginning of the third movement is so faint that it is barely audible for a minute or two.

A footnote: My uncle Roger Handy gave me a Christmas gift of Shostakovich’s eleventh  symphony in a premier recording by André Cluytens that was released when I was in college, for which gift I was and remain deeply grateful.

— posted by Roger W. Smith

     December 2022

 

Author: Roger W. Smith

Roger W. Smith is a writer and independent scholar based in New York City. His experience includes freelance writing and editing, business writing, book reviewing, and the teaching of writing and literature as an adjunct professor at St. John’s University. Mr. Smith's interests include personal essays and opinion pieces; American and world literature; culture, especially books and reading; classical music; current issues that involve social, moral, and philosophical views; and experiences of daily living from a ground level perspective. Sites on WordPress hosted by Mr. Smith include: (1) rogersgleanings.com (a personal site comprised of essays on a wide range of topics) ; (2) rogers-rhetoric.com (covering principles and practices of writing); (3) roger-w-smiths-dreiser.site (devoted to the author Theodore Dreiser); and (4) pitirimsorokin.com (devoted to sociologist and social philosopher Pitirim A. Sorokin).

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