As seen in Chapter 7, the principle of multi-dimensional energy can be used as a means of describing a single symphonic movement. But it can also act as a point of comparison between works, giving rise to broader observations relating to a range of issues. Whilst the aim of this book has always been to focus upon Shostakovich’s music rather his biography, the composer’s relationship with the Soviet state is, of course, an essential context in which to understand the music. This chapter will concentrate upon a particularly complex – and, as will be seen, revealing – period within that relationship, presenting a snapshot of how energy can be used to shed light upon long-standing issues.