ELKOST International Literary Agency

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A JOURNEY OF DMITRY SHOSTAKOVICH

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Rights sold to: Russia - TEXT

A JOURNEY OF DMITRY SHOSTAKOVICH. Oksana DvornichenkoMrs. Dvornichenko was a young filmmaker when she encountered Dmitry Shostakovich in the last months of his life. Shostakovich was a private and self-effacing man, particularly during his last years when he was seriously ill, but he accepted Oksana’s offer to participate in her documentary. For months Oksana and her crew shadowed the composer. The resulting documentary included footage of his rehearsals and premieres of his opera The Nose, of the Fifteenth String Quartet, and a series of personal interviews. Dmitry Shostakovich died one month after the Dvornichenko’s film premiere.

Supported by International Yeltsin Fund, this documentary was premiered in Moscow, Paris (Louvre Auditorium), London (Queen Elizabeth Hall), and NY (Carnegie Hall).

The nine chapters of the film are framed by nine days of the last journey of the composer's life: a trip on a Soviet ocean liner Mikhail Lermontov to the United States in 1973. The film is narrated primarily in words of Shostakovich's letters and diaries. The documentary includes never-before-seen archival fragments of the composer's life: newsreel footage, photographs, letters, and personal memoirs.

A JOURNEY OF DMITRY SHOSTAKOVICH. Oksana DvornichenkoThe book incudes a material from the documentary, and some additional documents.  It offers insight into the mystery of how Shostakovich was able to penetrate, through his music, the iron 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 both throughout the film and the book. This chronicle of the composer's life includes letters, declassified documents, photos, and recollections of his contemporaries. Two hundred and fifty letters, from messages written by nine-years-old Dmitry to those that were written shortly before his death, most of them published for the first time. There are also documents, fragments of the filmed interviews taken by Oksana Dvornichenko throughout many years: with the composer's wife, daughter, and son Maxim, as well as with Mstislav Postropovich, Kshishtof Penderetzky, Evgeny Mravinsky, Rudolf Barshai, Pietro Argento, Van Clybern, Kobo Abe, etc. (also being published for the first time).

"…it kindled new interest in Shostakovich studies" (BBC Music Magazine)

"Illuminating and engrossing project" (Yale University Press)

"The documentary is absolutely magical and elegant throughout" (Indiana University Press)