The US premiere of a new documentary film A Journey Of Dmitry Shostakovich, directed by Okasana Dvornichenko and Helga Landauer will be presented as an integral component of Discovery Day: The Songs of Shostakovich presented by Carnegie Hall at Weill Recital Hall on Saturday, November 11, 2006. The Discovery Day is part of Carnegie Hall’s A Singular Voice: The Songs of Shostakovich, an exploration of the vocal works of Dmitri Shostakovich. On November 10, 11, and 12 in Weill Recital Hall, singers from St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Academy of Young Singers perform works from the composer’s song literature.
Dmitry Shostakovich, the greatest composer of 20th century remains one of its biggest mysteries. The nine chapters of A Journey Of Dmitry Shostakovich are framed by nine days of the last round-trip journey of the composer’s life: a trip on a Soviet ocean liner to the United States. The film is narrated primarily in words of Shostakovich’s letters and diaries, which sharply contrast with the propaganda movies shown on board the ship, as the twentieth century itself weaves myth and reality. Never-before-seen archival fragments of the composer’s life–newsreel footage, photographs, letters, and personal memoirs–provide a unique perspective on issues of the artist versus the state, and truth versus survival. In contrasting official truth with personal truth, the film offers insight into the mystery of how Shostakovich was able to penetrate, through his music, the ironclad curtain and deeply affect Western audiences. Shostakovich’s music, full of dark sarcasm and glory, lyricism and sorrow, laughter and melancholy, plays the leading part throughout the film.
Discovery Day: The Songs of Shostakovich features dramatic readings of correspondence and reminiscences by the composer’s closest colleagues, discussions of the cultural dimensions of his songs, a lecture/demonstration featuring musical selections from three concert programs, and the US premiere of A Journey Of Dmitry Shostakovich.