Music: Dmitry's Tenth

The New York Philharmonic-Symphony gave the first American performance of Shostakovich's Tenth Symphony last week and got a divided press. "Obviously the strongest and greatest symphony that Shostakovich has yet produced," cheered the New York Times's Olin Downes. "Sprawling, noisy, lacking in coherent style and even culture," complained the Herald Tribune's new critic, Paul Henry Lang. SHOSTAKOVICH GOOFS, headlined the slangy Daily News.

The music the writers were talking about was a long (50 minutes), restless work full of pretty little melodies. Perhaps in deference to the short concentration span of his audiences, the composer allowed no single idea to develop very...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!