Shostakovich comes up against COVID-19

Edited: April 30, 2020, 9:36 AM ·

This is what happened when a family quartet (very good quality, btw) played Shostakovich's 4th quartet in their front garden, inducing their neighbours to come outside to listen.

Replies (15)

April 30, 2020, 9:31 AM · I guess that was to be expected since street musicians presumably aren't tolerated either. I wonder if someone complained about the noise?
April 30, 2020, 9:58 AM · Reading the article and viewing the video's it would seem that there was not a problem of crowding until a bunch of police vehicles showed up, and then everyone had to come out and see what was happening.

I guess that we should all be happy that nobody was jailed, fined or their instruments confiscated.

The most interesting part, and the key word: "if" says it all - there was no crowd, they had prior permission and still some officer decides that it could create a crowd - even though there was no crowd.

My friends, in another island nation - Japan - tell me that police officers are chosen exclusively for the hardness of their heads.

April 30, 2020, 10:09 AM · Interesting, as our city/school district has actually organized a "music on your driveway" this weekend!
April 30, 2020, 1:43 PM · A friend in the UK tells me that, like a lot of British life, the decrees on isolation are more or less advisory and not mandatory. Still, the local police can decide how to impress common sense on the herd, and variations are quite wide in that respect.

One major exception is said to be Wales: apparently, exercising more than once per day is actually illegal and can lead to arrest.

April 30, 2020, 2:43 PM · Things might have gone better, had they played something other than Shostakovich. ;-)
Edited: April 30, 2020, 3:36 PM · That is pretty sad, isn’t dailymail a pretty unreliable source though? Anyways, I wonder if some people in the UK still believe that 5G tower conspiracy BS.
EDIT: added some people, because it’s not everyone.
April 30, 2020, 5:03 PM · Xuanyuan Liu - it's always interesting to see how other people view us Brits. Yes, we do have cranks and idiots here, but I'm 100% certain we don't have a monopoly on them. For example, we didn't elect Trump (and before anyone claims that our PM is an idiot, you might want to reflect on the fact that he was regarded by his tutors at Oxford [still one of the world's best universities] as being one of the finest scholars of his generation).

As far as the Daily Mail is concerned, it's reviled by the left-wing media because it's right-wing, not necessarily because its news coverage is any more or less trustworthy than any other source (and objective assessments of accuracy suggest that, as you would expect from an advance society with strict laws on accuracy, the DM is no more or less accurate than any other newspaper in the UK). Daily Mail readers almost certainly feel that it is more trustworthy than the Guardian, and the feelings are certainly reciprocated.

When you reduce an entire nation to stereotypes, the locals will get a bit huffy. And adding "some" to your post doesn't really lessen the feeling that you somehow feel superior, which makes you rather unattractive.

April 30, 2020, 6:45 PM · Sorry that you feel offended. I meant to put some before posting but didn’t because I was typing fast on my phone. I did not stereotype, I just think that the 5G conspiracy is dumb.
April 30, 2020, 6:54 PM · In fact if you think what I said was generalizing, look at your own comments about electing Trump. It seems that the culture around current times is getting offended at everything. If you think I’m left wing just because I thought the daily mail was unreliable, then you are mistaken. I’m not one of those left wing SJW that gets offended at everything, kind of like what you’re doing now.
April 30, 2020, 6:56 PM · I FEEL SUPERIOR? Please calm your horses, I meant to put some before posting, I just skip words when I type fast because English was not my first language growing up.
April 30, 2020, 6:56 PM · Interesting article. It's nice that Shostakovich's music is getting some publicity these days. Many folks are probably not familiar with the name. Just for fun, I did search on "Shostakovich" in People Magazine's archives. People is a popular American magazine that one would encounter in supermarket checkouts. Shostakovich gets three results - all from articles published in the years 1981 and 1989.
May 2, 2020, 9:38 PM · Tony. Just because Boris was considered a fine scholar by tutors at Oxford it does not follow that he is a fine leader, or a decent human being. As a matter of record he has been proven to be overly flexible with the truth. He did not listen to Public health advice until it was too late to stop Britain following Italy's COVID curve and his attitudes toward women have more in common with Trump anyone should be comfortable with.
May 3, 2020, 9:03 AM · Matt. Just because you read things in the left-liberal media doesn't mean it's true. He most certainly did listen to advice from scientists (and if you don't believe that then go read this

I know Boris is like marmite - you either love him or hate him. And it seems if you hate him, you view everything through a prism of "Boris is an evil liar and nothing he does can ever be good"

Hate away, Matt. I believe (and I've heard him speak in person) that he is most definitely a good and decent human being. He's not perfect (but then which of us is?) but his intentions are most decidedly for what is best for all parts and people of our country. And here's an inconvenient truth: the majority of Brits share my opinions. Maybe you think that we're all just ignorant morons easily duped. Maybe you're right. But maybe you're not. Being consumed with hatred of someone (as most people who share your opinions are) means that you cannot be objective.

May 3, 2020, 10:10 AM · @Stephen S, not sure about the once a day exercise and arresting thing in Wales, at least, it certainly has not occurred in my area! However, I am only going out once a day, I don’t have the energy or inclination for more than that. Interesting to read about it though, I wonder if anyone I know has been caught up in that, there are definitely neighbours flouting the rules...
May 3, 2020, 10:24 AM · If people object to the article in the Daily Mail, it takes less than a minute to find other references to the same incident. The following has much more on the incident, including a significant amount of the performance before it, which would, I hope, be of more interest to the audience here than what one set of cops are doing in one part of the world on one occasion while cops all around the world are behaving similarly if not much worse on many occasions.

“The irony is, Shostakovich wrote this piece and had his suitcase packed at the time, terrified of being arrested by Stalin,” Todes laughs. “We were playing this and the history of the piece came rather to life when the police arrived!”

I too found the irony remarkable, and found it interesting that they would play such a serious piece of music for a street audience, and heartening that the audience, including children, were receiving it well.

Such shutdowns are of course happening around the world, and one hopes that the spirit shown in respect of the music will continue to carry this through the current situation into recovery and a new renaissance.

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