Music: Shostakovich & the Guns

When guns speak, the muses keep silent, says an old Russian proverb.

Last winter, as he listened to the roar of German artillery and watched the sputtering of German incendiaries from the roof of Leningrad's Conservatory of Music, Fire Warden Shostakovich snapped: "Here the muses speak together with the guns."

This Sunday afternoon the U.S. will hear the proof of his assertion, but the proof is already old: Blood flowed like water and froze like ice on the steps of Petrograd's Winter Palace. Over bodies and frozen blood the Red Guards swept through the...

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