Nice to see Shostakovich info appearing. I have a Monitor record with Oistrakh-Mravinsky-Leningrad. I wonder if Oistrakh-Mitropoulos-NYPO did come first.
Checking notes on my 2 recordings, it seems Shostakovich was just finishing up the concerto when (in 1948) Andrei Zhdanov, hatchet man minister of culture, called a meeting of soviet composers where he lambasted them for "western decadence". Prokofiev and Shostakovich were his main targets. I have no idea what music set him off. I think Prokofiev had recently written music for Romeo and Juliet and Alexander Nevsky. Shostakovich had written his lightweight Sym #9. Decadent???? No way!
In any case, Shostakovich withdrew his violin concerto from publication. Five years later Stalin died.
[In Testimony (the movie) Shos remarks that Prokofiev died the same day (or within a day). "Poor chump!" is his comment.]
In 1955 Oistrakh was first to perform the concerto. Since Stalin was dead, that was not as much bravado as I had thought. Still, other violinists were leery of risking the establishment's wrath.
The Soviet Union under Stalin produced a bundle of wonderful music, but it was a horrible place to live. We're very lucky. We get the music and live in a free (so far) country. (My fists are clenched, but I'm resisting political commentary.)
(The other) Shos
<small>[ 01-29-2004, 09:24 PM: Message edited by: shostakovich ]</small>