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Music of Russia Section IV: Russian music of the 20 th century.

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1 Music of Russia Section IV: Russian music of the 20 th century

2 A Time of Change Private sponsorship ▫Late 19th-century industrialization expanded the influence of the merchant class  Before the 1880s, merchants barely influenced the art world  Russian urban growth, however, gave rise to wealthy entrepreneurs  Many of these individuals earned more money than the titled gentry  They became increasingly educated and sophisticated

3 Savva Mamontov used his railway capital to fund music and painting ▫His estate in the village Abramtsevo became the leading center for Russian artists  The railway mogul offered several Russian painters residence there  Ilya Repin, Valentin Serov, and Mikhail Vrubel all received this privilege

4 ▫Mamontov also established a private opera troupe in 1885  The government only allowed privately run opera houses starting in 1882  Painters under Mamontov’s patronage created the sets  Thus, the Mamontov productions gained prestige for outstanding visual effects ▫High-quality musical talent proved harder to sustain  Nonetheless, Mamontov successfully hired gifted individuals  Feodor Chaliapin1 starred in several productions  Moreover, in his younger years, Rachmaninoff served as a conductor ▫Rimsky-Korsakov gained the most from Mamontov’s institution  The Imperial Theatres treated Rimsky-Korsakov’s works with indifference  Consequently, he premiered most of his late operas at the Mamontov theatre

5 Other entrepreneurs also erected private opera houses ▫Paper tycoon Gavrila Solodovnikov built an extravagant opera house  He also funded the construction of the Grand Hall at the Moscow Conservatory ▫Sergei Zimin used his fortune from the textile industry to create another troupe Rather than build an opera house, Mitrofan Belyayev assisted composers more directly ▫This entrepreneur owned wood-processing plants  He also played viola in his spare time

6 Belyayev loved chamber music, particularly string quartets ▫The entrepreneur hosted quartet competitions with considerable prizes ▫He also published many new Russian string quartets ▫Thus, this previously untouched genre flourished in Russia Besides competitions, Belyayev promoted the works of the “Belyayev circle” ▫This group assembled at Friday156 gatherings in St. Petersburg  These meetings became important features of musical life in St. Petersburg ▫Alexander Glazunov and Alexander Scriabin were Belyayev’s favorites  Glazunov wrote several string quartets for his patron ▫ Scriabin’s career benefited immensely from Belyayev’s support

7 The Belyayev circle also included Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Anatoly Liadov ▫Famous musicians like Pyotr Tchaikovsky also appeared at parties Belyayev’s publication company, Belyayev, encouraged Russian works ▫This firm was based in the German city of Leipzig

8 The “Silver Age” lasted from 1880 to 1920 ▫During this period, the arts flourished throughout Russia ▫ Wealthy individuals competed to buy newly fashionable French Impressionist paintings  They also invested in elaborate interior design ▫ However, the foremost advances took place in literature, especially poetry  Symbolism and later Futurism gained popularity  Sergei Polyakov established the publishing house Scorpio to sponsor Symbolism  His literary journals also printed Symbolist poetry

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10 Symbolism The literary trend of Symbolism began in Western Europe Symbolism arose as a reaction to the previous literary aesthetic, Realism ▫Realism attempted to reveal deeper meaning in everyday details ▫By contrast, Symbolism believed our world reflected another world beyond  This other world lent meaning to our own  Symbolist works attempted to reveal this world to their audiences  Instead of concrete images, Symbolists favored ambiguity and ellipsis  Passages captured fleeting emotions and a sense of mystery

11 Symbolists believed life and art were one and the same ▫They strove to live by their artistic ideas ▫ As a result, these artists adopted relatively unconventional lifestyles  They practiced exotic religious beliefs  Symbolists consulted mediums to conduct séances to reach the spirit world  Their emotional lives involved affairs and occasional suicides Contemporaries dismissed this movement as debauchery ▫In Russia, some critics labeled the Symbolist poets “dekadenty” (decadence) Despite these criticisms, Symbolist works reveal high artistic caliber

12 Alexander Scriabin Scriabin and Rachmaninoff Alexander Scriabin ( ) began his musical career much like Sergei Rachmaninoff ▫In fact, the two studied together at the Moscow Conservatory ▫Both excelled in piano and composition ▫The pair drew their primary inspiration from Frederic Chopin’s works ▫ Finally, both received a gold medal at graduation

13 In the end, however, the composers followed radically different paths ▫Scriabin could not become a virtuoso pianist like Rachmaninoff  As a student, he employed some poor practice techniques  Consequently, his right hand suffered permanent damage ▫Thus, Scriabin focused his energies on composition  Rachmaninoff, by contrast, balanced composition with a taxing concert schedule ▫ Rachmaninoff developed a unique and complex compositional style  Scriabin’s compositions, however, were unquestionably groundbreaking  His harmonies were unimaginable in his formative years

14 Scriabin’s early experiments Frederic Chopin heavily influenced Scriabin’s early works ▫ Scriabin depicted similar moods and used sophisticated textures ▫Furthermore, he explored the same five genres  Later, though, Scriabin concentrated on the sonata form for serious works  He also wrote short piano “poems” to experiment with harmonies

15 Unlike the Mighty Handful, Scriabin did not work to replace the dominant ▫Instead, he created unending series of dominant- type chords without resolution ▫Scriabin based this tense-sounding device on a similar technique used by Wagner  Such a chord progression appeared in Wagner’s 1859 opera Tristan and Isoldo  Scriabin considered Tristan and Isolde one of his primary inspirations for Symbolism

16 In his own works, Scriabin intensified Wagner’s model ▫He flattened the fifth in each dominant seventh chord  This alteration created two tritones instead of one  Remember, tonal music uses the tritone as its primary source of tension

17 ▫Each dominant chord now served two functions  Each was identical to the dominant chord a tritone away  For instance, the altered G7 chord exactly paralleled the altered Db7 chord167 ▫ Scriabin also added ninths, elevenths, and thirteenths to his chords  All of these intervals could be flattened or sharpened to maximize tension

18 Jazz music operates based on similar harmonic principles ▫Like Scriabin’s work, jazz often uses non- dominant chords ▫Jazz also commonly employs perfect-fourth harmonies ▫Of course, Scriabin used these techniques in music rather different from jazz

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20 From about 1907 onward, Scriabin completely abandoned tonal progressions ▫Unlike Wagner, Scriabin no longer felt the need to resolve dissonance ▫As a result, chords that would typically sound tense no longer did  Listeners found the chords self-sufficient and stable  The harmonies did not seem to require resolution  Scriabin’s “mystic chord” from Prometheus exemplifies this phenomenon

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22 Scriabin’s mastery of musical texture reinforced the impact of his harmonies ▫In slow pieces, he spread pitches of the chord to emphasize the tritone  The tritone usually appeared in the top two voices or in the bass  He allowed fluctuations in tempo  Thus, the chords changed slowly, pitch by pitch

23 Fast tempos had an entirely different texture ▫Scriabin constructed dotted rhythms and major leaps in pitch ▫The melodies spanned high and low registers alike Scriabin’s piano scores often demanded great left-hand agility ▫After all, the injury left his right hand considerably weaker than his left

24 Theosophy Scriabin subscribed to the tenets of Symbolism ▫By the 20th century, Symbolism appeared in virtually all art forms  Mikhail Vrubel produced Symbolist paintings  Konstantin Balmont wrote several Symbolist poems Scriabin intended his works for Symbolist audiences, not music theorists ▫These audiences interpreted his music the way they would other Symbolist works

25 As a Symbolist, Scriabin embraced exotic religions and philosophies ▫He began to follow Madam Blavatsky, who founded the Theosophical Society  Theosophy believed in using mystical means to discover the universe  It drew symbols and terms from many different religions, especially Buddhism ▫ Scriabin’s works feature French performance indications reflecting his influences

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27 Scriabin further developed his unique harmonies in his symphonic works ▫The titles evoked Symbolist and occult imagery  For instance, Scriabin published The Divine Poem in 1904  He followed this work with Prometheus: The Poem of Fire made its debut in 1910 ▫Each successive piece seemed more ambitious and universal than the last  Scriabin attempted to incorporate Theosophical philosophies in his music

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29 Mysterium Scriabin envisioned Mysterium as his magnum opus ▫This event would resemble an extravagant mystical ritual ▫Scriabin would compose words and music  Furthermore, the spectacle would showcase dances, aromas, and colored lights  The composer even bought land in India for the grand performance  Scriabin believed Mysterium would end the world It would launch humanity to a higher plane of existence ▫This extreme idea reflected Symbolist emphasis on the unity of life and art

30 In the end, Scriabin never even began work on Mysterium ▫Instead, the composer started a “Preparatory Act” to Mysterium  He composed some rough drafts for the music  In addition, he wrote a poetic libretto in Symbolist style ▫Scriabin died of an acute infection in 1915  The incomplete Preparatory Act was not fit for performance  Many Russian musicians, however, considered Scriabin a prophet

31 Symbolist predictions fulfilled Scriabin and the Symbolists often alluded to some sort of apocalypse ▫They dreamed of the purifying destruction of the existing world The 20th-century Russian revolutions basically fulfilled these predictions ▫In 1905, the Tsar’s troops attacked a group of peasants  These protesters intended to deliver a petition to the Tsar  Meanwhile, workers’ councils took control of cities  Naval officers staged a mutiny  However, this first revolution met with failure  Symbolists believed only art could change the world

32 ▫In 1917, the Bolsheviks overthrew the Tsarist regime  Symbolists proclaimed the political change as the beginning of a new world order  Scriabin’s works proved popular in early revolutionary Russia  Leading Symbolists Alexander Blok and Andrei Bely praised the revolution  Nikolai Roslavets, the leading Russian Scriabinist, joined the Communists In the end, however, Symbolism disappeared in the mid-1920s ▫Sociopolitical change from the revolution led to artistic changes and new movements

33 Track 10: Prometheus [the end] Background ▫Alexander Scriabin wrote this 25-minute symphonic piece in 1910 ▫Scriabin used dramatic instrumentation  He features a lengthy piano solo  It resembles a piano concerto  Scriabin himself premiered the part  A choir enters near the end  Most notably, Scriabin includes a part for the “luce”  Scriabin naturally associated chords and keys with certain colors ▫This uncommon trait made him a synaesthete  The luce keyboard controlled colored lights that paralleled harmonic fluctuations ▫The effect tied in to Scriabin’s vision of universal harmony  In Scriabin’s time, the technical means to produce a luce did not exist ▫At the premiere, audiences barely noticed the lighting changes

34 Featured excerpt The selection includes the last five minutes of Prometheus It begins with the haunting cries of the wordless chorus ▫Scriabin marks this passage “ecstatic” in the score Scriabin orchestrates a remarkably thick texture ▫Most scores require extra-tall formatting to fit all the notes and parts As usual, Scriabin repeats short melodic fragments in sequences ▫These sequences either rise or fall ▫For instance, near the beginning of the excerpt, a woodwind phrase ends on a trill  This seductive motive repeats in sequence

35 The solo trumpet presents an ascending fanfare with a fastpaced rhythm ▫Similar heroic themes typically represent human will in Scriabin’s works ▫Here, Scriabin uses the theme to represent Prometheus  In myth, Prometheus brought humans the divine gift of fire ▫Bells, horns, and other instruments quickly join in, representing flames Sudden silence interrupts the climax of the fire theme ▫A solo violin plays another seductive theme The piano dominates the ensuing scherzo-like episode ▫This passage may symbolize more flame imagery ▫However, it may also imply a higher state of divine existence  This spirituality was, after all, the major focus of Symbolism

36 The short conclusion features a majestic brass fanfare with three trumpets An F#-major triad ends the piece ▫The six sharps in the key sounded supernatural to Symbolists ▫Furthermore, the sudden harmonic clarification seems shocking after all the dissonance  Thus, Scriabin implies that the music transcends to a higher plane of existence  Symbolist listeners imagine the music continuing beyond into the spiritual world

37 Diaghilev and Stravinsky More about Diaghilev Diaghilev’s Saisons Russes and Ballets Russes revolutionized Western views of Russian art ▫These endeavors were the most influential 20th- century cultural initiatives ▫The original Saisons Russes (Russian Seasons) involved concerts of Russian music ▫Diaghilev then created the Ballets Russes (Russian Ballets) In his early years, Diaghilev attempted to compose his own musical pieces ▫He failed to garner any real success ▫As a result, he turned to promoting other artists in all genres

38 Diaghilev’s breakthrough came in the form of his journal Mir iskusstva ▫The title translates to mean “World of Art” ▫This publication centered around the visual arts ▫Diaghilev hoped to replace worn-out Realism with new cosmopolitan trends The Russian revolution in 1905 did not fully end until 1907 ▫As a result, Diaghilev moved to Paris ▫In 1905 and 1906, he established successful Russian art exhibits ▫Afterwards, he organized the Saisons Russes in 1907

39 Diaghilev also staged an extravagant production of Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov in 1908 ▫This performance earned him his greatest fame yet ▫Opera is generally one of the most expensive art forms to produce  Diaghilev personally imported singers and personnel from Russia  This decision added to his financial costs  Thus, Diaghilev realized a series of operas was impractical due to expenses

40 Instead, Diaghilev planned the Ballets Russes ▫He gathered the best dancers of Russia into a small group  Limiting the troupe size made touring possible and kept costs low ▫20th-century Parisian society dismissed ballet as an outdated art form  However, Diaghilev revived this artistic form  He hired Michel Fokine (Mikhail Fokin) to create non- classical choreography  The Ballets Russes also featured the first male star, Vaslav Nijinski  Russian painters designed the lavish sets and costumes  Parisian audiences relished Diaghilev’s new style of ballet

41 In his first season, Diaghilev reimagined existing ballets ▫He staged the Polotsvian Act from Alexander Borodin’s Prince Igor ▫Sometimes, he created ballets set to existing musical pieces  Ex: He added choreography to Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade ▫In 1910, he issued his first special commission to Igor Stravinsky

42 Stravinsky’s The Firebird Diaghilev discovered Igor Stravinsky ( ) in 1909 ▫The 1905 Revolution halted Stravinsky’s education at the St. Petersburg Conservatory  However, Rimsky-Korsakov privately tutored the young composer  Outside a small musical circle in St. Petersburg, Stravinsky’s work remained obscure ▫In 1909, Stravinsky premiered a brief orchestral selection titled Fireworks  He completed this piece shortly before Rimsky- Korsakov’s death in 1908  Diaghilev happened to be in the audience that night  Stravinsky’s work impressed him  Diaghilev commissioned Stravinsky to write the score for the ballet The Firebird

43 The Firebird (1910) catapulted Stravinsky to international fame ▫The score completely surpassed Diaghilev’s wildest expectations  The compositional style reveals Rimsky-Korsakov’s influence  It also hints at Stravinsky’s eventual role as a leader of modernist music The Firebird derives its plot from several Russian fairy tales ▫One might consider it a balletic equivalent to one of Rimsky- Korsakov’s operas ▫The evil sorcerer Kashchei rules over a dark kingdom  Rimsky-Korsakov also included this character in his opera Kashchei the Immortal  Stravinsky uses his mentor’s octatonic scale to depict Kashchei ▫A brave Tsarevich seeks to rescue his bride-to-be from Kashchei’s lair  A folk song-based style characterizes the Tsarevich  Stravinsky draws from Rimsky-Korsakov’s collection of 100 folk songs ▫The magical firebird assists the Tsarevich on his quest  A red-clad female dancer represents this brilliant creature  Stravinsky uses Oriental style to indicate the firebird  This music sets the firebird apart from the other characters  Moreover, Parisian audiences appreciated this style

44 In The Firebird, Stravinsky blends nationalism, exoticism, and modernism ▫The finale features a Russian folk song with changing-background variations  This scene celebrates the destruction of Kashchei’s kingdom  In other works, the Glinka variations would indicate typical Russian nationalism  Here, though, Stravinsky manufactures this effect for export  Parisians interpreted the style as exoticism ▫Stravinsky revealed an awareness of modern sounds created by Debussy and Ravel

45 Petrushka The Firebird’s great success led Diaghilev to commission a second ballet, Petrushka (1911) ▫Like The Firebird, Petrushka centered on a Russian theme However, Stravinsky chose a more realistic location ▫He set the ballet at a fair in St. Petersburg ▫Set designer Alexander Benois based the scenery on his own memories of such a fair  Benois also worked as a scenario writer ▫The fairground included entertainers, a dancing bear, and a puppet show

46 The plot focuses on the three puppets: Petrushka, the Ballerina, and the Moor

47 In the opera, the puppets begin to dance on they then come to life ▫Ballets in general typically feature such alternation between reality and fantasy  Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker also involves two separate worlds ▫The story centers on Petrushka’s unhappy love

48 Stravinsky used song and dance tunes popular at actual Russian fairs ▫Thus, the score further emphasized the realistic setting ▫For instance, he incorporated a barrel-organ tune he heard under his window  In the ballet, the orchestra represented the barrel organ  Stravinsky created the effect of “missing notes” in his score  This musical device implied the organ had a missing valve ▫Supposedly “traditional” Russian songs often had known authors  The barrel organ tune already existed as a song written by Emile Spencer  He published it as “Elle avait le jambe en bois”  This translates to “She had a Wooden Leg”  Spencer sued Stravinsky for copyright infringement

49 Stravinsky also took measures to distance his music from that of the Mighty Handful ▫Like the Handful, he directly quoted real Russian folk tunes  However, he quoted a different type of folk music than the Handful would  The Handful sought a sense of “purity” in their choices  Conversely, Stravinsky chose vulgar songs often sung by drunken revelers ▫ The fairground setting justified his choice ▫Tchaikovsky set the precedent by quoting “vulgar” popular songs  Unlike Russians, Parisian audiences failed to notice the difference  Also, unlike the Handful, Stravinsky did not frame folk songs  He did not emphasize or venerate these melodies  Instead, he presented them as random snatches, as they would sound at a fair

50 ▫ Stravinsky ignored the long-established conventions of Glinka variations  The composer presented the variations before the theme  He also impulsively repeated or deleted sections of the melody  The theme varied rhythmically, unlike the stable themes composed by the Handful Stravinsky filled his work with comical effects and musical “jokes” ▫He freely varied his themes and melodies  Stravinsky altered accent patterns  He added and deleted beats from measures ▫Sometimes, he used the “wrong” harmonies to accompany the melody ▫One scene juxtaposes a solo tuba and a very high clarinet part  This whimsical effect corresponds to the dancing bear

51 Petrushka also introduced the intentional distortion of melodies ▫This device, called grotesque, often created a comedic or satirical effect  It soon became a prominent modernist device ▫Stravinsky used familiar popular songs in his works  One such tune was Vdol’ po Piterskoy (“Along the Piterskaya Road”)  However, he subjected these melodies to shifts of accent and other distortions ▫Some of the first Russian audiences found this presentation offensive  They believed Stravinsky irreverently ridiculed Russian nationalism  They also regarded the vulgarity of the original tunes with outrage ▫However, Stravinsky’s repetition and omission of melodic fragments shaped modernism

52 Stravinsky’s permanent relocation Rite of Spring (1913) became the most celebrated of Diaghilev’s ballets ▫This modernist work stood sharply at odds with Rimsky-Korsakov’s pieces By 1913, Stravinsky had settled in Europe ▫The October Revolution of 1917 convinced him never to return to Russia  He refused an invitation to return in the 1920s  In the 1960s, he finally agreed to a musical tour and arrived to a warm reception ▫As a result of his emigration, Stravinsky’s works became increasingly Western  His later compositions reflected more French and American culture than Russian culture

53 Most Western historians consider Stravinsky a cosmopolitan composer ▫World War I and the Russian Civil War isolated Russia from the West  After brief renewal of contact in the 1920s, Stalin reinstituted isolationist policy  Thus, The Rite of Spring and other works failed to join the Russian repertory  Many did not appear in Russia until after Stalin’s death ▫Until the mid-1920s, Stravinsky still relied on his Russian heritage  However, his later works sound far more European ▫After the Revolution, other Russian composers joined Stravinsky in his self-imposed exile  They, too, adopted the cultures of their new homes

54 Track 11: Petrushka, Beginning of Scene 1 Background Petrushka contains four scenes ▫The title of Scene I is “The Shrove-Tide Fair” Featured Excerpt ▫The opening section represents a crowd of people  In the background, the clarinets and horns play a repeating phrase  This figure alternates between two intervals  It creates constant background noise ▫The flutes present a fairground cry  Spread through the score, these cries imitate the shouts of peddlers and entertainers  At the time, scholars notated these sounds as elements of folk music

55 At first, the lack of a bass line suggests a feeling of floating in air ▫The basses then enter with three measures of a melody  The phrase is a fragment of the folk song “Dalalyn”  It indicates the entrance of intoxicated partygoers ▫Later, a fuller version of “Dalalyn” appears, still carried by the basses  The oboes and piccolo flute join in with a shrill counterpoint line  The counterpoint consists of a faster variation of the “Dalalyn” melody  The basses play in 3/4 while the counterpoint lies in 7/8184  This effect implies that the counterpoint melody stems from a different source ▫Various other motifs add to the dense musical texture as the crowd becomes more excited

56 Stravinsky then spotlights a few characters ▫First, the drunks take center stage as the music becomes more dance-like  Stravinsky allows their complete melody to shine through clearly  He also subjects the theme to brief Glinka variations ▫A tritone sounds as a speech-like melody interrupts the dance  This theme features many repeated notes  It symbolizes the Balagannyi ded (carnival barker)  He advertises the upcoming fairground events from his booth ▫Stravinsky also foreshadows the next scene with a dancer and barrel-organ player  Michel Fokine choreographed the pair to disappear into the crowd after their music ended

57 The fairground act incorporates two popular songs o It features the Russian song Pod vecher osenyu nenastnoy ▫Furthermore, it includes Emile Spencer’s Elle avait la jambe en bois  The clarinets and flutes represent the barrel organ The selection ends with more cries from the Balagannyi ded

58 Wars, Revolution, and a New Social Order Revolutionary change World War I ( ) worsened unrest in Russia ▫This global conflict took place on an unanticipated scale  Nations suffered huge population losses and tremendous damage  Longstanding regimes born of feudalism crumbled ▫Britain and France drew Russia into the war  France owned sizeable assets in Russian industry

59 For the most part, these nations used Russian troops as a buffer and distraction ▫They served to keep German and Austro-Hungarian troops away from other regions ▫France and Britain failed to supply many of the Russians with guns  These men—mostly peasants—were basically sent unarmed to their deaths By 1917, the unstable economy and food shortages created mass unrest in Russia ▫In February 1917, the shortages incited mass protests ▫Tsarist troops ordered to suppress the protests refused to act

60 The February Revolution of 1917 ended Tsarist rule in Russia ▫As protests snowballed into revolution, the Tsarist regime lost control  Tsar Nicholas II’s own ministers forced him to abdicate the throne  They hoped to regain control and stop the revolution

61 However, almost the entire Russian population supported the February Revolution ▫Many of the ruling elite joined the working-class masses  These officials considered the Tsar a hindrance to their own political plans Talks between the establishment and radicalsyielded a new administration ▫The unelected Provisional Government defied the people’s will  The regime refused popular demand to withdraw from World War I  It denied proposals to divide estates to allow peasants to become small farmers

62 ▫As a result, the regime lost much popular support  Russian soldiers mutinied  Peasants took over land  Elected workers’ councils overran the cities The government changed hands again during the October Revolution of 1917 ▫In rural areas, the main peasant party, the Socialist Revolutionaries, began to split  This party participated in the Provisional Government  Some members hoped to cling to power  Others demanded further changes in government ▫As the Provisional Government lost favor, Bolsheviks gained power in the cities  This party did not affiliate itself with the Provisional Government  Vladimir Lenin ( ) led the Bolshevik Party  They attempted a right-wing military coup, but failed  Regardless, they quickly formed a majority in elected city and workplace councils

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64 The Bolsheviks forcibly took charge of the nation in October 1917 ▫Bolsheviks arrested the Provisional Government  Some members of the Socialist Revolutionaries joined Lenin  Other radicals condemned the second revolution  The business-oriented Cadet Party was excluded from the Revolution  The Bolsheviks forced the Cadets to disband The Bolshevik takeover of Petrograd yielded few casualties ▫St. Petersburg, then the Russian capital, had been renamed Petrograd in 1914 ▫Fierce fighting erupted in other cities, however ▫In the end, the Revolutionary government secured control

65 Mass support enabled the success of the October Revolution ▫ The Bolsheviks nationalized former landlords’ estates  Thus, they formally recognized peasant takeover of farmland  This motion guaranteed the support of the impoverished peasantry ▫The new government also withdrew Russia from World War I  Russia signed a peace agreement with Germany in March 1918  Industrial workers and lower-ranked soldiers abhorred the war  Withdrawal from the conflict cemented their loyalty to the new regime The Bolsheviks named the new state “Soviet” Russia ▫In Russian, “soviet” meant “council” ▫The name represented the elected workers’, soldiers’, and peoples’ councils

66 The Russian Civil War ( ) erupted shortly after the Bolshevik takeover ▫No purely Russian army could hope to garner enough support to depose the Bolsheviks ▫However, Western powers still at war with Germany sent financial aid  Some even provided military backup to Russians who fought the Bolsheviks ▫In spring 1918, the anti-revolutionary White Army186 launched offensives  The “Civil War” actually involved armies from over a dozen nations  In 1921, the Bolsheviks defeated the White and foreign armies ▫Great hardship marked the war period  Russia experienced food and fuel shortages  The conflict weakened the national infrastructure  Many wealthy citizens attempted to emigrate abroad  Both sides requisitioned food from the peasantry ▫At times, even three sides fought in the war  Peasants clashed with the Whites to keep their recently acquired land  However, they also fought Bolshevik seizure of food  The Bolsheviks took food to feed troops and maintain city populations ▫ Under the pressures of war, the initial Bolshevik democratic element crumbled  The soviets (councils) became increasingly top-down188

67 Revolutionary impact on art and the economy After the Russian Civil War, the Bolsheviks focused on fixing the damaged economy ▫Peasant objections to government food seizure increased ▫The masses protested the continuation of requisitioning after the war’s end ▫The Bolsheviks implemented the New Economic Policy (NEP) ▫They reestablished protection of private property  Also, small enterprises could hire labor against communist principles ▫These measures appeased the peasants and radically altered urban culture  The NEP reopened cabarets, cafés, and restaurants  Citizens who could afford these luxuries benefitted immensely ▫The NEP governed Soviet Russia during the 1920s  However, near the end of the decade, Stalin began to reverse the policy

68 The Bolshevik takeover triggered a massive brain drain ▫Most Russian intelligentsia approved of the February Revolution ▫ However, many found the October Revolution too extreme  Russian artists dreamed of an apocalyptic end to old Russia  However, the actual manifestation of the dream scared and disgusted them ▫ Common workers and soldiers no longer treated the intelligentsia with special respect  The intelligentsia always occupied a subordinate position  However, they had previously enjoyed the company of upper- class citizens  Thus, they had been able to forget their inferior status  Now, though, commoners carelessly issued orders to the former artistic elite

69 After the October Revolution, many intellectuals emigrated ▫This exodus resulted in the worst brain/culture drain ever experienced by Russia  Sergei Rachmaninoff and Sergei Prokofiev both left in 1918  Igor Stravinsky, already settled in Europe, would not consider returning home ▫Anatoly Lunacharsky attempted to persuade intellectuals to remain in Russia  This playwright and art critic served as Lenin’s first Minister of Education  Lunacharsky hoped artists would stay and cooperate with the Bolsheviks

70 Futurist artists numbered among the first to cooperate with the new regime ▫Futurist poets and abstract painters opposed earlier artistic trends ▫Despite varying political ideas, this group united to create a new Russian art aesthetic  They wanted a new revolutionary art style to reflect the new revolutionary society ▫The government gladly supported these artistic reformers  Futurists designed national propaganda posters  They also received official commissions to decorate cities for revolutionary events ▫Early Soviet art served as a shining example of modernism  “Suprematist” Kazimir Malevich painted abstract works  Vladimir Tatlin designed incredible architectural projects

71 In the early 1920s, Arseny Avraamov ( ) wrote “Symphony of Sirens” ▫This piece typified modernism at a time when few (if any) musical examples existed  “Symphony of Sirens” required a whole city to perform it  Naturally, no score or recording exists ▫Avraamov conducted a wide variety of sounds from a high factory rooftop  The composition required the synchronization of all clocks in the city  Participants too far away to see Avraamov operated on a timetable ▫The symphony also required a specially designed instrument, the “magistral”  This steam-powered instrument played a solo melody amid the chaos ▫The magistral presented “The Internationale” theme  “The Internationale” acted as a national anthem in the early Soviet Union

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73 Avraamov successfully organized a performance of the Symphony in ▫A friend of the composer led the Communist Party in the city of Baku  He helped organize the necessary military commanders and factory directors ▫Avraamov carried out the performance according to plan, including the magistral  The spectacle sounded differently depending on the listener’s location  No recording exists and no modern equivalent can be reenacted

74 The Symphony of Sirens embodied several Soviet ideals ▫It required collective participation by the masses ▫The machines required emphasized urban industrialization  Industry, in turn, implied future national prosperity “The Internationale” stressed the continuation of Communism

75 Creative awareness and artistic factions The Bolsheviks envisioned a community in which all capable adults worked ▫This goal sometimes required brute force against business owners and landlords  Some business owners cooperated with the state  They gained employment as managers of their former businesses  A prominent music publisher ranked among these fortunate few ▫Lunacharsky launched an ambitious educational program to refine the masses  Schools taught literacy and mathematics  However, they also taught music and other arts to unleash creativity  Schools and workplaces sponsored choirs  These organizations taught revolutionary songs to spread Communist ideology  Such choirs actually stemmed from the period between the 1917 revolutions

76 Soviet artists believed music and other arts must serve “the people” ▫Different factions, however, disagreed on how to deal with pre-Soviet art  Some thought Russians could still learn from the older pieces  Others, like the Futurists, advocated complete rejection of the past  Before, scholars had considered Pushkin Russia’s most distinguished poet  However, the Futurists cried “Let us throw Pushkin off the ship of modernity!”

77 The Russian Association of Proletarian Musicians (RAPM) only accepted select pre-Soviet works ▫This proletarian organization believed a few “bourgeois” works could educate  For instance, RAPM considered Beethoven a heroic revolutionary composer  They championed Mussorgsky because he sympathized with the common man  RAPM also favored some Schubert songs about mill workers However, RAPM urged a ban on most other Russian classics ▫RAPM also campaigned against urban popular songs  They feared the sentimentality and decadence would lead to immoral conduct  At the same time, they disapproved of some rural folk songs  These tunes illustrated the backward culture of the illiterate peasantry

78 Graphic p. 93

79 From 1929 to 1932, RAPM greatly restricted the music available to the working public ▫They dismissed some modernists for allegedly elitist views  However, they also criticized tangos and foxtrots that supposedly spread decadence ▫ RAPM composers themselves wrote most of the “acceptable” listening selections  Their repertoire consisted mostly of simple choral songs  They also wrote marches with propagandistic lyrics  With a few exceptions, commoners did not particularly enjoy these compositions

80 Lunacharsky and Lenin disagreed with RAPM’s narrow musical definitions ▫Lunacharsky advocated the preservation of pre-Soviet culture  He worked to support opera houses, conservatories, and orchestras  Though he rejected some more radical ideas, he still encouraged Futurists ▫Lenin, by contrast, considered the Futurists irritating ▫ He believed that all science was essentially one  “Revolutionary science” and “workers’ science” did not exist ▫Similarly, all art counted as a single unit  No generation or style of art should be pruned  Such omission would be like sawing off the branch their society sat on ▫Lenin wished to deprive the Futurists of state funding

81 Graphic p.94

82 Soviet composers in the 1920s Composers in this period could still continue to write music in their preferred styles ▫They performed and published new music ▫Conservatories continued to hire prominent Russian professors ▫Some composers formed the Association for Contemporary Music (ASM)  This organization established many foreign contacts  Its members aimed to produce music that reflected international trends  As a result, several foreign composers visited Soviet Russia in the 1920s  Henry Cowell was an American avant-gardist

83 The 1920s witnessed the rise of several prominent Russian composers ▫Nikolai Myaskovsky mixed expressionism and post-Tchaikovsky ideas in his symphonies ▫Scriabin inspired Nikolai Roslavet’s own atonal style of composition ▫Modernist Alexander Mosolov used atonality in his expressionist and industrial music

84 In the mid-1920s, Dmitri Shostakovich emerged as the foremost Soviet composer ▫Shostakovich’s First Symphony mixed classicism with the grotesque  This work secured him international recognition ▫In 1927, Shostakovich premiered his orchestral piece Dedication to October  Scholars later referred to this work as his Second Symphony  It first appeared at the 10th anniversary of the October Revolution  Before, lesser-known composers handled such commissions  However, the 10th anniversary seemed important enough for first-rate composers

85 The three-part atonal piece sounded starkly modernist ▫Each section represented a chapter of the revolutionary story ADD Graphic p.95

86 Dedication to October made Shostakovich the leading Soviet composer at age 21 ▫He finished the decade with The Nose (1929), an absurdist opera Shostakovich’s skillful originality inspired other composers ▫Prokofiev wrote Cantata for the Twentieth Anniversary of October (1937)  However, the public no longer considered such works acceptable  He dropped the work from the planned concert program

87 Track 12: The Iron Foundry Background Mosolov originally wrote this short orchestral piece as part of the ballet Steel (1927) ▫ In the ballet, the piece was called “Zavod” The Iron Foundry programmatically represents the noises of a giant factory ▫The innovative subject matter fascinated audiences in Soviet Russia and abroad Stravinsky pioneered the device of layering multiple repeating figures ▫Rite of Spring (1913) used this technique to create a mechanical sound  Granted, Stravinsky depicted ancient pagan rituals instead of modern technology ▫Mosolov employs this same layering effect in The Iron Foundry

88 Controversy erupted over The Iron Foundry’s premiere ▫The piece clearly glorifies Soviet Russia’s future industrial prosperity ▫However, RAPM criticized the piece for its inhuman repetitive motives  They claimed Soviet factories required human workers  Mosolov allegedly placed machines above humans in his capitalist vision ▫RAPM’s criticisms most likely reflected professional jealousy  After all, four horns play a heroic (human) theme

89 Featured excerpt The piece opens with quiet repeated figures symbolizing factory machinery ▫The timpani produces a tritone interval ▫Meanwhile, the clarinets and violas play a chromatic motive in the middle register Additional patterns appear one by one ▫In the end, 11 distinct layers overlap ▫Unlike Stravinsky, Mosolov sets all layers within a strict 4/4 meter Standard orchestral instruments create the effect of screeching and grinding noises ▫ Mosolov does indicate one atypical instrument  Every so often, a musician shakes a sheet of steel ▫Four horns present the heroic melody  Mosolov’s score instructs the performers to stand so they can be heard

90 A different group of quicker patterns briefly interrupts the clamor ▫However, the music soon returns to a jubilant reprise Mosolov employs many chromatic harmonies throughout the piece ▫The Iron Foundry clearly centers on a tonic pitch of C ▫Thus, for all its modernism, the piece does not exhibit atonality

91 Joseph Stalin and Socialist Realism Changes under Stalin Soviet authorities hoped for a successful European Communist revolution ▫After the October Revolution in Russia, social unrest spread through Europe  In some cases, mass discontent led to similar Communist revolutions  The Soviets hoped a Communist state in Europe could help Russia industrialize  They particularly looked to Germany’s massive Communist party  Unfortunately, European governments suppressed all revolutions  In 1923, the German Communist Party suffered a major defeat ▫The Soviet Union’s political isolation caused a major ideological struggle in the Party  Party members debated both domestic and foreign policy issues  By the end of the 1920s, Joseph Stalin ( ) emerged as the new leader

92 Stalin implemented an accelerated program of industrialization in the name of nationalism ▫ He imagined the Soviet Union should prepare for foreign invasion in the near future  Of course, Hitler later proved him correct ▫The Soviet leader ordered construction of dams, power plants, and steel mills  The government needed to buy expensive foreign equipment ▫ Soviet Russia still mostly existed as an agricultural society  Exporting oil and raw materials brought in some revenue  However, the government relied on grain exports to cover most costs ▫Grain prices took a nosedive during the Great Depression  The Soviets had to sell much more grain to acquire the necessary funds  Peasants would not give up the majority of their crops without compensation

93 To acquire grain for export, Stalin forcibly collectivized peasant farms ▫He grouped small peasant farms into large communal farms  Ironically, the smaller farms dated back to the 1917 Revolutions  The large-scale farm schematic allowed for more efficient mass production  It also facilitated the export of grain  The government no longer needed to compensate individual peasants

94 Naturally, peasants strongly resisted the loss of their private property ▫Many decided to destroy their property rather than relinquish it ▫Stalin continued forward with ruthless force Add Graphic p. 97

95 Coercing art to serve the state Stalin reinvented artists as “cultural workers” who would create art for “the people” ▫ Their works needed to convince the masses that positive change would soon arrive  Basically, he needed propaganda to sugarcoat his pitiless economic changes ▫Artists reveled in the right to critically examine the world and the authorities  Stalin, however, expected them to relinquish this independence

96 Unlike the peasants, artists received substantial compensation for loss of freedom ▫Stalin considered artists the “engineers of human souls” and treated them well ▫The Soviet leader placed artists on the state payroll  The new “cultural workers” did not need to worry about making ends meet  They no longer relied on market preferences  The state supplied them a guaranteed income  In fact, they earned a much higher income than ordinary workers ▫Artists thus joined the new Soviet elite  This circle also included scientists, engineers, and senior state administrators

97 Stalin effectively collectivized artistic endeavors ▫ In this case, though, he used incentives rather than outright force ▫A 1932 Party resolution disbanded all independent artistic organizations  Many of these associations enthusiastically aligned with Communist ideals  Regardless, Stalin considered them an obstacle to his overall vision ▫The government then established new unions  For instance, these groups included a composers’ union, a writers’ union, and a painters’ union  Stalin thus united all artists, regardless of Party membership  After all, he required the fame and expertise of non-Party artists

98 The Soviet government instituted a commission system for its “cultural workers” ▫ Few artists could resist the generous deal  The regime dictated a topical theme and presented a sizeable advance payment  The artist received an advance in addition to their set salaries  After completion, the artist received the rest of the promised payment  Compensation did not depend on exhibition, publication, or performance  The state paid the artist even if the general public never saw or heard the work

99 Those artists who did refuse the state’s offer typically forfeited their careers ▫Typically, they lost touch with their newly privileged former colleagues ▫They also relinquished the possibility of performance or publication Most artists chose to compose for the state ▫Some prominent artists still tested the limits of their assignments  Thus, enduring works did occasionally appear ▫However, many were hastily written works which quickly disappeared

100 Socialist Realism The First Congress of Soviet Writers convened in 1934 ▫ This event marked the first official attempt to establish the new artistic aesthetic ▫Delegates named the resulting doctrine “Socialist Realism”  The Soviet writers created this standard to apply to literature  However, they intended it to encompass all art forms ▫Three principles made up the Socialist Realist doctrine ▫Thus, Stalin began reintroducing Tsarist symbols  The three-part doctrine echoed the motto for Official Nationalism

101 Socialist Realism evolved from a late 19th-century Russian literary trend ▫Characteristic of Tolstoy’s works, the trend was known as “critical realism”  Soviet authorities expected artists to avoid non- or anti- realistic approaches  Such attitudes distinguished Symbolist and modernist works  However, officials did not want artists criticizing the Soviet Union  Thus, they replaced “critical” with “Socialist” ▫Socialist Realists presented the Soviet Union realistically  Nonetheless, they also depicted an optimistic future  These artists portrayed current problems as only temporary obstacles  A common storyline involved an ultimately victorious heroic struggle

102 Graphic p. 99

103 At first, Soviet composers struggled to understand the implications of the new aesthetic ▫ Unlike writers, composers spent years figuring out how to create “realist” works  They could look to Beethoven’s major works as examples  Musicians could also consider Mussorgsky’s operatic realism in Boris Godunov ▫However, “realist” instrumental music without lyrics stumped composers

104 Composers eventually realized that Socialist Realism meant anti-modernism ▫Realist music needed to suggest believable psychological states  Beethoven and Tchaikovsky achieved such psychorealism in their works ▫Atonal music sounded disparate from typical human emotions  Listeners associated atonality with psychopathic emotions  Arnold Schoenburg used atonality to depict a hallucinating killer in Erwartung  Scriabin created a similar effect in his “Satanic” works

105 The other major branch of modernism was Neoclassicism ▫This style was more tonal ▫Anti-Soviet composer Stravinsky led the use of Neoclassical style  He insisted that music could not depict emotion  His own works reveled in this lack of emotional realism ▫ Thus, Socialist Realist composers rejected modernism  Modernist music could not realistically imitate human emotions ▫ Besides, the modernists composed only a small elite segment of the population  The style lacked the mass appeal required by the Soviets ▫Socialist Realism proved far more artistically conservative

106 Socialist Realist composers turned to 19th-century models for inspiration ▫In the 1930s, Stalin revived nationalist rhetoric  Soviet composers looked to the 19th-cenury nationalists for examples  They studied the Mighty Handful and Tchaikovsky ▫ In particular, they adopted the Handful-like use of Russian folk music  Composers in each Soviet Republic incorporated their own national folk tunes  Ukrainian composers used Ukrainian folk songs, for example  The familiar melodies enhanced the new music’s mass appeal  Folk music also aligned well with Soviet politics  It stemmed from the working classes  Folk tunes sounded both national and accessible to the masses

107 Texts, titles, and dedications also served political purposes ▫Phrases from Soviet mass songs and marches appeared in symphonies and oratorios  These words made the compositions relevant to contemporary audiences  The marches and songs represented the army and industrial workers ▫ Socialist Realists needed to balance popular appeal and the techniques of high art  They could not sacrifice technical beauty to appeal to the masses  Moreover, they could not create agitprop  In the 1920s, some Party composers indulged in such obvious propaganda

108 Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (1936) In January 1936, Joseph Stalin attended a performance of Quiet Flows the Don ▫The opera’s scenario involved a revolutionary tale  It featured the civil war and ended with a patriotic marching song  The story stemmed from Mikhail Sholokhov’s novel of the same name  This book was a much-praised Soviet bestseller  In fact, it eventually won the Nobel Prize ▫Unknown composer Ivan Dzerzhinsky wrote the opera as a conservatory student  Stalin called Dzerzhinsky to his box after the performance to congratulate him  The next day, the Soviet newspapers lauded the composer

109 That same month, Stalin also attended Shostakovich’s opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk ▫Already considered a leading Soviet composer, Shostakovich hoped for similar praise  Musically, his opera far surpassed Dzerzhinsky’s  Critics had already written admiring reviews ▫However, an outraged Stalin left in the middle of the performance ▫ Pravda, the national Party newspaper, published an extremely negative critique  The title read “Sumbur vmesto muzyki”  This phrase means “This is chaos, not music!”  It often appears in translations as “Muddle instead of Music”  Other reviewers could not defend Shostakovich after the Pravda review  The article appeared as an anonymous editorial  Thus, it represented official (and indisputable) Party opinion

110 ▫The defiantly modern music alienated Stalin  A couple of years earlier, such music might yet have been acceptable  Now, however, it lay outside the boundaries of proper Socialist Realism  Lady Macbeth proved more conservative than Shostakovich’s earlier opera The Nose  However, it still differed considerably from the realist ideal ▫The subject matter probably angered Stalin most  The opera takes place in late Tsarist Russia  The plot did not center on a fairy tale or a nationalist epic  Rather, the gruesome tale features love affairs and murders

111 Add Graphic p.101

112 Shostakovich’s presentation of the love affair differs from operatic convention ▫The love scenes feature quick clownish dance music instead of rich erotic themes ▫The composer also added naturalistic orchestral noises ▫A New York critic dismissed the opera as “pornophony”  Naturally, Stalin did not want to be seen in attendance  The Soviet Union had reversed earlier liberal views on sexuality by this point

113 Before Stalin’s viewing, Lady Macbeth had enjoyed almost two years of success ▫Critics in Moscow and Leningrad applauded the opera  They considered it a condemnation of Tsarist oppression  Audiences recognized Katerina as a courageous revolutionary  Granted, they judged her individual actions futile and wrong  They still sympathized with her attempts to fight the circumstances  These reviewers believed the anti-Tsarist message justified the music and action

114 However, Pravda’s criticisms resulted in the withdrawal of the opera ▫Shostakovich’s rise to national stardom halted ▫He faced a drop in income ▫However, he managed to regain his former prestige by the end of the 1930s Lady Macbeth thus served as a warning to other artists ▫Shostakovich received criticisms for the rest of 1936  Socialist Realism was not just a “friendly suggestion”  Failure to appease the government resulted in serious consequences for artists

115 Prokofiev’s homecoming Unlike Shostakovich, Sergei Prokofiev ( ) gained fame before the Revolution ▫He graduated from the St. Petersburg Conservatory  At his final exam, he shocked everyone by performing his own Piano Concerto ▫Prokofiev earned a reputation as an audacious and revolutionary modernist  He championed a brash and percussive pianist style  The composer layered different keys to create extremely dissonant sounds  He employed this device in a set of piano pieces called Sarcasms ( )  Like Stravinsky, Prokofiev also experimented with the grotesque  This device involved the intentional distortion of familiar musical phrases  Prokofiev’s works influenced young Shostakovich  The “Classical” Symphony (1917) demonstrated another facet of Prokofiev’s talent  This popular composition resembled a Haydnesque symphony  Prokofiev then added some slight modernist twists  The dissonances sound playful, not mocking or disrespectful  He balances the modernist trends with classical forms and orchestration

116 After the Revolution, Prokofiev emigrated abroad in 1918 ▫Prokofiev did not hold strong political opinions  He felt curious about the Revolution and the radical changes  However, he feared disruption to his orderly existence  The composer also worried that the turmoil would impede his career ambitions ▫In May 1918, Prokofiev journeyed to the United States  To avoid battle zones to the west, he traveled east through Japan and the Philippines  The composer emigrated with Soviet permission  He even kept his Soviet passport  Other émigrés did not receive such generous treatment  Prokofiev initially settled in New York  He obtained European and American commissions  Diaghilev allowed him to write for the Ballets Russes  Prokofiev performed his own modernist piano concertos in recitals  The composer also tried his hand at conducting

117 Graphic p. 103 ▫Prokofiev became an influential modernist composer  However, he never fulfilled his goal of surpassing Stravinsky  Stravinsky and Schoenberg both experimented with more extreme modernism  Prokofiev’s style was more moderate  The composer combined modernist aspects with more conventional ones

118 Despite a successful career in the West, Prokofiev opted to return to Russia ▫Soviet authorities began asking Prokofiev to return in 1925 ▫They hoped his arrival would bolster the Soviet Union’s international standing  In return, they promised better working conditions  He would benefit from a guaranteed income  Like other members of the artistic elite, he could enjoy special perks  Prokofiev could focus on composition rather than earning a living

119 Prokofiev realized he needed praise from his own people He understood that the Soviets would impose restrictions on his work ▫ However, he thought he could become a musical leader ▫The composer proved he could employ a wide variety of styles ▫Reviewers criticized Shostakovich’s compositions for lack of a melody  Prokofiev, by contrast, could produce beautiful and unusual melodies ▫He gladly catered to the common masses  One of his first Soviet projects, Peter and the Wolf, received great acclaim ▫Prokofiev also wrote more serious works that challenged his audiences  He carefully avoided intimidating authorities, however  Such works included the Fifth Symphony and the Seventh Piano Sonata

120 The Soviets led Prokofiev to believe he could sustain an international career ▫However, his United States tour in 1938 proved to be his last trip abroad ▫ In 1939, Prokofiev’s friend Vsevolod Meyerhold disappeared in the Gulag  This well-known theatre director vanished near the end of the Purges  After this event, the government refused to allow Prokofiev to leave the country  If they allowed him to leave, he would not return  The Soviets could now freely censor Prokofiev’s compositions Confined to the Soviet Union, Prokofiev experienced both great success and major setbacks

121 ▫In the late 1930s, he faced initial government distrust  His status as a recent emigrant caused problems for his career  The government did not trust Prokofiev’s loyalty to the state  Authorities cancelled several of Prokofiev’s theatrical performances  His ballet Romeo and Juliet struggled to reach the stage  The composer earned some official praises for nationalistic works, though  He wrote the film score for Alexander Nevsky (1938) by Sergei Eisenstein  Prokofiev also wrote Zdravitsa (1939), a cantata praising Stalin

122 During World War II, Soviet society fully accepted Prokofiev ▫The state awarded him a succession of prestigious prizes  He received more accolades than any of his contemporaries  Prokofiev probably would not have enjoyed such success in the West ▫ Audiences viewed his Fifth Symphony as a Soviet masterpiece  It depicted both the struggles of war and the glory of triumph ▫Prokofiev struck the perfect balance between modernism and Socialist Realism  He used dissonances, rhythmic ostinatos, and grotesque  Critics explained these elements as musical depictions of enemy forces  The composer also produced an epic symphony sound a la Borodin  This tribute to Borodin’s Second Symphony appeased Socialist Realists

123 The Cold War ended the relatively liberal cultural era ▫In the late 1940s, Stalin sought to isolate the Soviet Union from Western influence  He particularly hoped to distance Russia from the hostile United States  Soviet authorities renewed strict standards for Socialist Realism ▫In 1948, a Party resolution labeled leading Soviet composers “formalists”  These composers supposedly valued form above socialist content  In other words, they were modernists rather than Socialist Realists ▫The Party’s naughty list included Prokofiev and Shostakovich, among others  Ironically, some of the condemned works had received praise during the war ▫Prokofiev attempted to conform to the new standards in his late years  However, true compliance would entail erasing his signature techniques  The composer’s Seventh Symphony typifies music of this strict era

124 Track 13: Romeo and Juliet, Second Suite, before parting Sergei Prokofiev composed this ballet ▫It remains one of his best-known works This selection features several lyrical love themes ▫Soviet authorities constantly pressured Prokofiev to explore his lyrical talents  They also prompted him to write tonal harmonies  The Soviets discouraged the composer’s use of the grotesque ▫Still, the Soviets did not fully subdue Prokofiev’s work to generic Social Realism  He still includes chromatic melodies and harmonies  Though subdued, these distinctive elements can still be heard

125 Featured Excerpt The selection features three distinct themes heard earlier in the ballet ▫Theme 1 spans a wide range and contains daring harmonies  The saxophone first presents this theme  This popular instrument appeared in orchestras beginning in the 1930s  The violins then restate the theme  A shyly tender phrase follows the initial passionate ascent

126 ▫Theme 2 joyously proclaims the characters’ love  It first appears when Romeo and Juliet confess their love  The theme lies in C Major, accompanied by tonal harmonies  The horns play a lyrical melody with too great a range for the human voice ▫After two statements of Theme 2, the hymn quietly ends ▫The music then adopts the hesitant, affectionate character of Theme 1

127 ▫Theme 3 contrasts greatly with the other two  It includes a “ticking” ostinato figure that represents time passing  The music modulates from major to minor  As the mood darkens, the basses introduce an ominous new melody  This tune connotes death  It appears at the final parting of the two lovers

128 Shostakovich’s Symphonies Fourth Symphony Shostakovich was creating his Fourth Symphony when the Pravda review came out ▫The composer continued work as though the criticisms meant nothing  He probably believed authorities banned Lady Macbeth for non- musical reasons  Regardless, Shostakovich urgently needed to remedy his public image ▫ The Fourth Symphony reflected Mahler’s influence  Its length, instrumentation, and ample thematic material all echoed Mahler’s work ▫ When Pravda published its review, Shostakovich had completed 2/3 of the symphony  He only needed to write the third and final movement  This finale actually pushes the symphony farther from Socialist Realism  It begins with a glorious loud section, as expected  However, instead of a heroic ending, a funereal theme interrupts  The piece then concludes softly in a minor key

129 Shostakovich eventually realized that Soviet authorities would not accept the symphony ▫ At rehearsals, musicians clearly thought his work chaotic  After all, the piece required extremely difficult performance techniques ▫The composer realized a performance would only further tarnish his reputation  Thus, he withdrew the work himself before the Soviets could  The Fourth Symphony did not premiere until 1961, years after Stalin’s death

130 Fifth Symphony Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony adhered more closely to Socialist Realism ▫Though he still imitated Mahler, Shostakovich focused on more acceptable models  He drew inspiration from Beethoven and Tchaikovsky  The Socialist Realists considered these composers admirable examples  Shostakovich made sure to include Socialist Realist elements  Add Graphic p.106

131 Controversy about the finale’s meaning exemplifies the complexity of many Soviet pieces ▫Some listeners find the ending insincere  They believe Shostakovich simply geared it toward Socialist Realist expectations ▫Other people view it as a courageous self-assertion despite Soviet intimidation ▫Still others think the finale reflects ironic triumph and artful deception ▫Individual performances largely shape these various interpretations  Composers must decide how to present Shostakovich’s composition  Leonard Bernstein depicted the ending as a genuinely joyful victory  Soviet conductor Yevgeni Mravinsky considered it tragic and painful

132 Despite some concessions to Socialist Realism, the piece still contains questionable elements ▫The symphony opens with a slow and dismal passage  No clear melody emerges at the outset  Shostakovich develops the melodic fragments very slowly ▫Later in the first movement, a grotesque march theme violently appears  The dramatic climax sounds disturbingly intense ▫The Scherzo movement contained Mahlerian irony

133 ▫Meanwhile, many listeners interpreted the slow third movement programmatically ▫They considered it a lament for victims of the Purges ▫Authorities executed Shostakovich’s patron Marshal Tukhachevsky in 1937  The composer was writing this symphony at the time ▫Shostakovich favored Bach-like material over Russian classical inspiration ▫This choice seemed akin to Stravinsky’s Neoclassical style  Soviet authorities frowned on Neoclassicism  They considered it a Western modernist trend

134 Thankfully, Soviet authorities overlooked these potentially offensive aspects ▫ The Fifth Symphony received favorable reviews and Shostakovich regained his status ▫Stalin often subjected internationally acclaimed artists to a similar process  He issued official chastisement for challenging works  Afterward, he granted forgiveness once the artist remedied his mistakes  Film director Sergei Eisenstein also received this treatment ▫However, particularly “dangerous” artists were sent to labor camps or simply executed

135 Shostakovich focused on creating instrumental music without text ▫Opera proved far riskier to produce, given the clear-cut lyrics  Shostakovich never composed another  He did, however, complete a post-Stalin revision of Lady Macbeth  Shostakovich learned from Prokofiev’s opera War and Peace  Soviet authorities approved of the work  However, their constant interference delayed the compositional process  As a result, Prokofiev died before the opera’s premiere

136 ▫Unlike clear-cut operas, audiences could interpret instrumental works in a variety of ways  As a result, Shostakovich wrote 15 symphonies and 15 quartets  The composer only hinted at programmatic meaning  Sympathetic critics tied different melodies to different aspects of Soviet life  Of course, hostile critics could still dispute these claims  However, these debates rarely led to serious political consequences

137 Seventh Symphony Shostakovich wrote his Seventh Symphony during World War II ▫The Nazis invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941 ▫In September 1941, the Nazis reached Shostakovich’s home city of Leningrad  They launched a three-year siege on the city  1.5 million Russians died due to starvation, cold, and bombing  More citizens perished attempting to escape ▫Shostakovich publically announced his intention to dedicate a symphony to the city

138 By night, Shostakovich worked as a fireman ▫He helped protect neighborhood buildings from German firebombs ▫Time magazine published a photograph of Shostakovich in his fireman’s helmet  He became a hero throughout the Soviet Union and in the West  His proposed symphony became a symbol of resistance even before its premiere

139 Upon its completion, the Seventh Symphony received immense international attention ▫The Allies evacuated Shostakovich ▫ The symphony premiered in Kuybyshev (present-day Samara) in March 1942  This city served as Russia’s temporary wartime capital  Moscow lay in danger of falling to the Nazis

140 ▫As promised, Shostakovich dedicated the Seventh Symphony to Leningrad  The Soviets and their Western allies used the symphony as a propaganda tool  The microfilmed score traveled to Tehran, Britain, and the United States  In the United States, conductors fought for the right to direct the premiere  Arturo Toscanini eventually led the United States premiere in July 1942  The British premiere occurred a month earlier  Supposedly, the symphony helped solidify an alliance  The Soviet Union joined the United States and Britain against Nazi Germany ▫The music itself proves as challenging and complex as the Fifth Symphony  In fact, the triumphant finale echoes similar musical elements

141 Eighth Symphony Shostakovich gained national composer status after the Seventh Symphony ▫ Audiences now expected his works to continue to represent Russian life The composer’s Eighth Symphony (1943) met these expectations ▫However, the piece sounded too dark and difficult for Socialist Realism ▫The Soviet authorities accepted the work regardless  They interpreted the piece to represent Soviet suffering at the Nazis’ hands  About 26 million Soviet citizens died during World War II

142 Ninth Symphony In early 1945, the Soviet Union anticipated victory over Nazi Germany ▫The public expected Shostakovich’s Ninth Symphony to celebrate this triumph  They imagined a grand chorus like that found in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony  The composer began such a piece, but abandoned the idea ▫The actual Ninth Symphony more closely imitated Prokofiev’s “Classical” Symphony  Shostakovich used a much smaller scale than expected  He employed more extreme grotesque distortions to classical idioms than Prokofiev  Unfortunately, the work alienated the critics and confused the public

143 Return to Socialist Realism In January 1948, Shostakovich needed to redeem his reputation yet again ▫He drew on his 1936 experience and responded quickly  The composer wrote soundtracks for films praising Stalin  He also wrote the oratorio Song of the Forests  This piece referred to Stalin’s post-war plan for reforestation ▫These scores reflected heavy 19th-century influence  The Mighty Handful’s work clearly played a role  Glinka’s “Glory to the Tsar” chorus shaped the pro-Stalin choruses  Soviet composers looked to this piece as a model for extolling the government

144 Shostakovich and Prokofiev both eventually complied with Socialist Realism ▫The composers adopted the conservatism expected by the Soviet regime  They reined in their modernist tendencies  Their “official” works earned official “forgiveness” ▫ However, Shostakovich withheld some serious works until after Stalin’s death  His Fourth and Fifth Quartets premiered in late 1953  In 1955, his famous Violin Concerto made its public debut

145 Track 14: Symphony No. 7, First Movement, Excerpt of the “Invasion Episode” Background Shostakovich dedicated this symphony to the city of Leningrad ▫ It became an international symbol of resistance to the Nazis

146 Critics consider the first movement a representation of the Nazi invasion of Leningrad ▫Like many first movements, it follows sonata form ▫The movement begins with an exposition of the heroic and lyrical themes  These two ideas symbolize peaceful life in Leningrad before the war  The exposition concludes quietly  Shostakovich gives no indication of what will come next

147 The movement’s “invasion episode” enters ▫ A quiet snare drum pattern appears out of nowhere  The deceptively lighthearted melody soon joins in  These elements intensify to create the sinister “invasion episode” ▫This idea replaces the conventional development section in the sonata form

148 Featured Excerpt The invasion episode centers on a banal and seemingly innocent theme ▫Though march-like, the melody sounds trivial, light, and popular  Shostakovich based this idea on a piece from one of Hitler’s favorite operettas ▫An insistent snare-drum pattern accompanies the melody  It begins quietly but grows louder as the episode continues  The snare drum maintains the same rhythm throughout the episode ▫Shostakovich subjects the theme to changing- background variations  He keeps the melody intact, following Glinka’s example

149 Maurice Ravel’s Bolero (1928) inspired several features of the invasion episode ▫Bolero also involved Glinka variations and a recurring drum figure ▫Moreover, both pieces use changing instrumentation to support an extended crescendo  Shostakovich’s crescendo creates the impression of approaching danger  The Nazi forces push forward slowly but inevitably  The insistent repetition of the innocent theme makes it sinister and terrifying ▫The crescendo stretches over 11 variations  The excerpt begins at the third variation, a canon  The bassoon echoes every phrase in the oboe

150 Following Ravel’s example, Shostakovich suddenly changes keys at the episode’s climax This technique implies the enemy forces finally face an obstacle ▫In this case, the Nazis experienced a crucial defeat at Moscow in 1942

151 The Thaw and the Avant-Garde The Thaw Stalin’s death in 1953 did not immediately incite radical change ▫However, the Soviet Union released many political prisoners ▫ People hoped liberalization would follow

152 In 1956, the new leader Nikita Khrushchev publically denounced Stalin ▫He openly addressed Stalin’s crimes at the Twentieth Party Congress  No precedent existed for such discussion  Thus, Khrushchev’s words sparked great sensation

153 Historians refer to the ensuing period of relative liberalization as “The Thaw” ▫The Thaw lasted from 1956 to 1964 ▫ The Soviet government still imposed some limits on freedom, however  They did not want the public challenging the regime

154 The Thaw ended Soviet Russia’s self-imposed isolation from the West ▫ During Stalin’s rule, Soviet citizens faced imprisonment for meeting foreigners ▫The Thaw, however, witnessed an increase in international contact  The Moscow Youth Festival of 1957 attracted foreign visitors  Russian youths absorbed Western trends  High arts and popular culture both benefitted from the exchange  Modern jazz, rock-and roll, and blue jeans became part of Soviet culture  The authorities tolerated but did not encourage these trends ▫ In fact, cultural tolerance proved greater than any decade since the 1920s  Granted, even this liberal era had its limitations

155 Shostakovich’s Thirteenth Symphony Shostakovich’s Thirteenth Symphony (1962) exemplifies works from The Thaw For the first time since the 1920s, Shostakovich included text in a work ▫ Free of the threat of Stalin, the composer could finally present a precise message ▫ The Thirteenth Symphony contained five poems by Yevgeni Yevtushenko (b. 1933)  Yevtushenko pushed the boundaries of free speech during the Thaw  In addition to the orchestra, Shostakovich included a bass soloist and a male chorus

156 One of the poems, “Babi Yar,” particularly moved Shostakovich ▫The title referred to a ravine near Kiev, Ukraine  The Nazis massacred tens of thousands of Jews at this site  Yevtushenko wanted to remind the public of this horrific incident  He published it in a newspaper to warn against anti- Semitism ▫This subject matter proved intensely controversial  It emphasized Jewish victims, not Soviet victims as a whole  Officials based their objections on this preference  They glossed over the regime’s anti-Semitism

157  Yevtshenko’s poem threatened to draw attention to casual anti-Semitism  The authorities released Jewish prisoners from labor camps  However, they did not stop society’s harassment of Jews ▫Shostakovich, however, chose to support Yevtshenko’s efforts

158  Each of the five poems Shostakovich selected addressed an aspect of life under Stalin  For Shostakovich, the symphony also reflected self- purification  He could relinquish the compromises he made during Stalin’s oppressive rule

159 The Thirteenth Symphony finally premiered on December 18, 1962 ▫ This production first overcame several challenges, though  Threats of cancellation loomed  Authorities pressured the first bass soloist to drop out  They then sent his replacement to perform at the Bolshoi at the last minute  Luckily, the theatre kept a third singer just in case  The original composer resigned and the chorus threatened to leave  The producers found a distinguished replacement composer  Yevtushenko personally appealed the singers to stay

160  Shostakovich’s music added power to Yevtusheno Authorities feared the extra emphasis would incite great controversy  It was one thing to allow the quiet reading of Yevtushenko’s poems  However, choral declaration in front of a mass audience scared officials  As a result, they canceled the broadcast of the premiere  The cameras were already set up words

161 ▫Audiences received the symphony enthusiastically  The Thirteenth Symphony premiered to a full house  The Babi Yar movement received applause  The finale inspired reverent silence followed by more tumultuous applause  Other performances took place in the Soviet Union and East Berlin in 1963  Some used a revised version of the text  Yevtushenko created this version fearing the government would ban the work  Musicians created a Soviet recording of the piece in 1967  Other than this, the symphony disappeared from the Soviet repertory for years  Abroad, the symphony enjoyed many more performances in the West

162 Parting the Iron Curtain Soviet authorities lifted the metaphorical “Iron Curtain” in the late 1950s ▫The Iron Curtain referred to the Soviet Union’s isolation from the rest of the world ▫New, once-forbidden Western music flooded into the Soviet Union  Young composers studied Stravinsky’s Western compositions  Most only recognized his earliest works from before emigration  They also focused on the Second Viennese School  This group composed of Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg, and Anton Webern  The post-war avant-garde also influenced Soviet trends  This group included Karlheinz Stockhausen, Pierre Boulez, and Luigi Nono  Along with John Cage, these composers visited the Soviet Union  There, they interacted with the Soviet avant-garde

163 The Soviet avant-garde thrived in the 1960s and 1970s ▫These composers deviated from the mainstream  “The mainstream” included Shostakovich and a few remaining Socialist Realists  The avant-garde worried that Russian music still trailed behind the West ▫Andrey Volkonsky forged the path for avant- gardists  He published his serialist piece Musica stricta in 1956 ▫The Soviet avant-gardists experimented with atonality, serialism, and electronic music  The government still restricted travel abroad  However, the Soviet avant-gardists studied Western music  Western avant-gardists visited the Soviet Union to meet their counterparts  Soviet music also reached international audiences

164 Three particular Soviet avant-gardists emerged at the forefront ▫ Edison Denisov mostly used a serialist approach  His works featured inventive timbres and textures  This composer created a refined and personal sound  His cantata Sun of the Incas received international acclaim  The work premiered in Moscow  It was then performed in Darmstadt, Germany  This city was a major European avant-gardist center  A Paris performance forged lasting ties between the composer and French music

165 Sofia Gubaidulina used almost theatrical instrumentation ▫She allowed "indeterminate" (partially improvised) sections ▫Her pieces typically involved symbolism ▫The Seven Last Words musically depicts Jesus' crucifixion  The piece features solo cello and solo bayan (a type of accordion)  These instruments dramatically imitate human-like sounds

166 Alfred Schnittke championed "musical polystylism" ▫This technique involved juxtaposing different musical styles  For instance, he might follow a tonal section with an atonal one  He might also use styles in different registers ▫Schnittke also included allusions to familiar Soviet pieces in his works

167 Shostakovich’s Fourteenth Symphony Shostakovich experienced the new compositional trends of the Soviet avant-gardists ▫After all, he lived until 1975 ▫The aging composer did not radically alter his existing style  He did apply certain avant-garde elements to his own works, though ▫The Fourteenth Symphony featured substantial atonality  Shostakovich used this technique freely in the 1920s ▫Also, like the newer works, the symphony operates on a smaller scale  The Fifth and Thirteenth Symphonies used much grander instrumentation  The Fourteenth, by contrast, evokes a chamber ensemble- like sound

168 ▫The 11 movements feature several innovative devices  Shostakovich includes a twelve-tone theme and an atonal canon  One movement requires the use of tom-tom drums  Another ends on an eight-note dissonance  This device symbolizes emptines  o However, Shostakovich only adopted these techniques for expressive purposes  o The avant-garde, by contrast, used them in their overall styles Thirteenth Symphony 5 poems Different themes: anti-Semitism, fear, moral struggle, starvation, humor as resistance Single poet: Yevgeni Yevtushenko Fourteenth Symphony 11 poems Single theme: death Different poets, including: Rainer Maria Rilke, Guillaume Apollinaire, Garcia Lorca, and Wilhelm Kuchelbecker (Russian Romantic)

169 p.113 music power guide


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