Keeping Score

Keeping Score – Shostakovich Symphony #5 with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony ★★★★
Besides Bach, Shostakovich is one of the truly great composers to ever have lived. His was a life like Bach’s that was filled with tormentors and critics that had no appreciation for the greatness of the person. This film is one of the “Keeping Score” series where the director of the San Francisco Symphony engages in an educational forum that briefly describes the life of Shostakovich while doing a quick analysis of the 5th symphony. It is quite educational, and even if one doesn’t like Shostakovich, they would find this film to be informative. The DVD actually consists of two parts, the first being an analysis of the piece, and the second being a live performance in London of the 5th symphony. Together they help to give a person a starting understanding of the person of Shostakovich and the style of his compositions. The film is definitely intended for musical beginners, though anybody will get value out of seeing Thomas’ interpretation one of the great symphonies of all time, Shostakovich’s fifth.