16 Sep 2006
He had his dark, anguished side - but he loved women and vodka too
A season of films scored by Shostakovich, usually portrayed as a tortured soul, reveals the composer's warmth, says Ed Vulliamy [The Guardian, 17 September 2006]
The soldier pounces, but having watched his sweetheart wander pensively through the snow, his ambush is a gently predatory lover's leap. What follows is among the most enchanting love scenes in cinema. The lovers snuggle beneath a primal fur; they wander through forests together, lost in love and fleetingly free from the war which rages around them and in which she, as a nurse, is immersed. Most importantly, the music accompanying this passage - and the strength and fragility of its romance - is without irony: a lambent string serenade, sensuous, soft-hued and tender.