Having looked at a number of musical dimensions within which energy streams can be described, it is useful to take an overview of Shostakovich’s approach to the symphony and, in particular, to look at large-scale energy streams in his work. The symphony – particularly the Beethovenian model – has for many come to symbolize the ‘highest and most exalted form’ of orchestral music.2 To write a symphony is to join one of the most significant traditions in Western art music, and that significance was felt particularly strongly in Soviet Russia. The constituents of an acceptable national style were in a constant state of evolution throughout Shostakovich’s life, yet these constituents were frequently held up – in whatever form the current thinking assumed – as vital. As Marina FrolovaWalker has observed, ‘since the creation of music was regarded as much the same as any industrial process, composers, as “cultural-workers,” were expected to serve the state’.3 Up-to-date readings of political ideologies by composers were therefore essential, ensuring that ‘Soviet music was not stagnant … composers were always moving producing up-to-date music, reflecting the slightest shift in the Party’s ideological policies and marking every heroic achievement’.4 As in the West, though, the Beethovenian symphony was continually elevated as a paradigm of artistic achievement, particularly given what was widely viewed as its revolutionary essence, capable of reflecting the heroic spirit of the age.5 Paul Bekker’s notion of the ‘community-forming’ power of the BeethovenianMahlerian symphony was particularly influential in this regard, his work having been translated into Russian in 1926.6 Bekker believed that ‘for an artist, the symphony is a way of communicating with a mass of people by means of instrumental music’ and that those listeners come together through their shared

emotional experience.7 Clearly resonant with the Socialist Realist ideology of mass communication, it is easy to understand why the symphony thrived in the Soviet Union at a time when, in the West, the composition of new symphonies y writingwas in a state of sharp decline.8