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Review: Twenty Four Preludes and Fugues on Dmitri Shostakovich, by Joanna Boulter

Marxism has also been a totalising world view. Joanna Boulter's... is like a series of snapshots from Soviet history. Following Shostakovich's work for the piano of the same name, it is a sequence of paired opposites, two poems on the same subject in major and minor keys. This gives the book a welcome dialectical quality, the pairs mirroring and echoing each other - especially the wonderful Mirror Fugue - to suggest the relationship between heroism and tragedy, private and public, art and history.