an open letter to shostakovich

Dear Shostakovich,

I don’t know how to say this delicately, so I’m just gonna come out with it: I love you.

I used to consider you one of my favorite composers when I was reminded of you. No longer: I shall never forget you again. I mean it. I want to play your music. No – I want to practice your music when I feel like hell, when the only realistic thing for me to do is call it a day and go to bed.

Like today, when your sonata’s cellist bribed me with beer to come in for a 9pm rehearsal. He didn’t have to – I was going to come in anyway. (I felt he wouldn’t take no for an answer on the beer. You understand that, I’m sure.) I was going to come even though I have a headache, even though I’m exhausted, even though we lost an hour of sleep last night, even though my left wrist hurts, even though my eyes are tired, even though I spent the entire day being frustrated at church, even though I already practiced the sonata for 3 hours. Even though I should have just gone to bed, I would have come in anyway. And after we rehearsed for an hour, I stayed an extra hour and kept working. Really, I love you and I want to thank you for that.

Many people much smarter than I will say that you are a phenomenal composer for lots of important sounding concepts and socio-political things and all that. Not that those aren’t important, but to me the only one that counts is that I want to play your music unequivocally. Only one other composer inspires me to do that.

Also, please forgive me for dropping the last LH 16th note in m210 of the fourth movement. I’m not particularly proud of it, but if I don’t, my hand will flop around like a suffocating fish for the next measure. And I think we can both agree that dropping the note is preferable.

With all the possible affection,

Liz (your little Ukrainian girl)


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