Ever the humorist, Shostakovich delighted in placing allusions to the works of himself and other composers in his
Fifteenth Symphony: in addition to the cryptic references to his own music, it includes an outburst of Rossini's William
Tell Overture in the first movement (rehearsal figure 12); allusions to Mikhail Glinka and Gustav Mahler; and the use
of Richard Wagner's Fate leitmotif from the Ring Cycle. No humour with the orchestral version of Michelangelo cycle
profoundly personal, deeply felt. Immortality?
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