The New York Review of Books has published a memoir by Anastasia Edel of her grandfather Anatoly Alexandrov, a longterm party loyalist and mayor of Novorossiysk. According to the article Alexandrov formed a musical friendship with the great composer.
In March 1961, Shostakovich paid a three-day visit to Novorossiysk. My grandfather, by then elected the city’s mayor, was in charge of the composer’s visit. A well-known Izvestiya correspondent and a photographer were dispatched by their Moscow editorial office to cover Shostakovich’s contribution to socialist construction. At the Heroes’ Square, leaning on a cane (Shostakovich had just recovered from a foot fracture), the celebrated composer, now also an Honorable Citizen of Novorossiysk, stood by the granite monument framed by newly planted trees, the sea glittering in the distance, and listened to his music. “This is how I pictured everything,” he told my grandfather.
Fascinating as this reads, something here does not quite chime with what we know of the composer’s wariness in forming new relationships, partocularly with Communist Party officials.
Read on here.