A Musical Treasure Under Threat

MICHAEL OZERSKY / SLAVA KATAMIDZE

THREAT: Shostakovich's collection could be out in the cold

For years Mark Matsov, 61, has been a dedicated guardian of an endangered treasure. Crammed into 113 sq m of a decrepit six-bedroom apartment in downtown Tallinn, capital of Estonia, are some 50,000 mostly handwritten pages of music and manuscripts, and 1,500 hours of unique audio and video recordings of music by the great 20th century Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich. This cache of riches has been piling up at the apartment, home of Matsov's father, Roman, Shostakovich's favorite conductor. The works were performed and recorded against the will of Soviet bosses, who either banned Shostakovich or suspected him of "formalism" and...

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