When music magazines had arresting covers

When music magazines had arresting covers


norman lebrecht

October 14, 2017

This is the February 1943 issue of Etude magazine showing Dmitry Shostakovich against the backdrop of besieged Leningrad.

It’s every bit as strong at the famous Time magazine cover, a mark of the talent and ambition of editorial staff on music magazines in those heady times.

Our thanks to Denis Plutalov for sharing this picture from a music school library.


  • Kyle says:

    I was not familiar with “The Etude” cover but own two original copies of the “Time Cover” – one framed and one more-tattered copy for perusal. Of course, the whole “Fireman Shostakovich” thing was mostly propaganda, but that doesn’t take away from the illustration by Boris Artzybasheff who hardly ever seems to get mentioned when this cover is referenced.

    Of particular interest is the actual “Time” article in which the music knowledge assumed of the reader surpasses a good many classical music magazines of recent years.

  • Malcolm Kottler says:

    This Time magazine with Shostakovich on the cover was July 20, 1942.

    The link below enabled me to read the entire article (5 online pages). I think that is longer than Norman wants to copy it here, unless, perhaps, others report that the link gives them only the beginning of the article, with the rest behind a paywall.

    I will await later comments to see if that is the case.

    Link to the Time article:

    • NYMike says:

      The link gave the whole article – thanks! Although Toscanini got the first US performance of the 7th, Koussevitsky’s second performance was intrinsically Russian. I remember hearing a broadcast rehearsal and being bowled over by the BSO’s power and Koussy’s screaming. For me, nobody’s ever come close to Koussy’s interpreting Russian scores.