Abstracts of issue 14 (2000)

Markos Tsetsos

The 4th Symphony of Dmitri Shostakovich: Attempt of Interpretation of an Obscure Work

The paper focuses on an analytical approach of the work and proceeds in aesthetic and ideological links discussing their stylistic and inevitably sociological implications. This way, Shostakovichs work is raised as a work of utmost importance in order to understand contemporary implications of the Aesthetics. The discussion developed in this paper concerns certain issues about the prerequisites for an applied Theory of Aesthetics, as it raises questions about the relation between philosophical-aesthetic concepts and contemporary understanding of works from a non-systemic point of view. The elaboration of such a point of view departs from a compositional phenomenon that is par excellence enigmatic in terms of its morphology. It departs from a phenomenon that is absolutely contemporary and unique in terms of its deconstructive character and appears to be a classical anti-work in modern musical literature. As a non-programmatic phenomenon, it refers to the deeper relation between musicians and extra-musical contents from a socio-philosophical aspect.
The author proposes a new spectrum of approach of a work that seems to put in question traditional compositional and aesthetic values in a unique way. According to his argument, this may be the most profound reason for the 25 year withdrawal of the work and not only the political situation of that time alone: the 4th Symphony is first of all an enigma of reception. The aesthetic interpretation of the symphony is based on the proposed historic-philosophical concept of nihilism, seen in the nietzschean aspect as a rejection of particular ethic-metaphysical values of the herd era. The analysis proceeds not in terms of extra-musical contents but of musical form in its particular expressive contents. The methodology problems concerning the mediation of a historic-philosophical concept with musical expressive forms and the peculiar terms of this mediation are especially discussed. Discussed are also the most recent, mainly German, interpretative attempts.

Musicology