Russian composer Dimitri Shostakovich was born 100 years ago. Simon Behrman looks at the music of an artist whose life was intertwined with the fate of the 1917 revolution.
The failure of the Russian Revolution of 1917 to live up to the hope it promised was the greatest tragedy of the last century. Its effects were felt not just in the politics and subsequent history of the 20th century but also in the art and culture that surrounded it. Dimitri Shostakovich occupied a central position in these events, and more than any other composer his music explores the hopes and tragedy of this period of history.