Aram Khachaturian's letter to Dmitri Shostakovich
I’m writing this letter with great excitement and joy. I’m writing not only to
say happy birthday but to express some of my thoughts about you. I’m grateful to
fate for being your friend and your contemporary. I’m grateful to your
outstanding works for elevating the level of Soviet music to unreachable
heights. We are all striving to keep in line with you, though it’s impossible.
You are our leader, and, want it or not, you are taking us after you. Your
historical mission is inestimable.
I am pleased there is a person, the extension of my respect and admiration to
whom humbles me. I rarely bother you, though I often feel the need to talk to
you. My dear and honorable friend, congratulations on your fiftieth anniversary,
I wish you happiness, I wish you to create more compositions. Be as mighty as
you have always been.
You’re not very old, but you have lived a great life.
Yours A. Khachaturian.
September 24, 1956, Moscow"