Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name


Department (Legacy)

Department of Music History and Literature

Committee Chair

Christensen, Jean, 1940-

Author's Keywords

Shostakovich; Dmitrii Dmitrievich; Yevtushenko; Yevgeny Aleksandrovich; Russia


Shostakovich, Dmitrii? Dmitrievich, 1906-1975; Shostakovich, Dmitrii? Dmitrievich, 1906-1975. Symphonies. no. 13, op. 113, B? minor; Yevtushenko, Yevgeny Aleksandrovich, 1933-


Yevgeny Yevtushenko wrote five poems that critiqued Soviet society. The poems, on topics as diverse as anti-Semitism, the suppression of humor, the mistreatment of women, state repression, and bureaucracy, were written at separate times and for different reasons, and were not conceived of expressing a larger message. Dmitri Shostakovich perceived that, despite their disparate topics, the poems could be connected to express a larger critical message. Shostakovich connected the texts musically through tonal and motivic relationships between movements. As a result of these musical connections, the different critiques of the poems were connected. Shostakovich also paraphrased other compositions, referencing music outside the symphony as a metaphor for the universal nature of the text's criticisms. These connections create the musical cohesion that makes the work a symphony, and also relate the various poems in order to express a larger critique of the Soviet regime and way of life.