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Russian Music since 1917Reappraisal and Rediscovery$

Patrick Zuk and Marina Frolova-Walker

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266151

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266151.001.0001

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(p.1) Chapter 1 Introduction
Russian Music since 1917

Patrick Zuk

Marina Frolova-Walker

British Academy

Abstract and Keywords

The Introduction outlines the rationale for the volume, and its pioneering status in attempting to represent a broad cross-spectrum of recent research by Russian and Western scholars working on Russian music since 1917 that illustrates how the field has transformed since glasnost’. It opens with a brief overview of the development of the research domain, indicating the principal changes in emphasis and approach, and the intellectual issues that have come to the fore. It proceeds to summarise the themes of the essays in the volume’s six parts, explaining their significance in relation to the wider domain of Russian cultural studies.

Keywords:   Russian music, Soviet music, Western musicology, Russian musicology, glasnost’

SINCE THE MID-1990s, the discipline of Russian music studies has seen a remarkable upsurge of research activity. Eloquent testimony to its current state of vitality was furnished by the Congress that stimulated the production of the present volume, Russian and Soviet Music: Reappraisal and Rediscovery, hosted by the Music Department of Durham University on 11–14 July 2011. This event was of landmark significance, not least for being the first international conference of its kind that was of such comprehensive scope and on such a large scale. Over the course of four days, over 120 delegates from twenty-three countries presented papers on topics relating to music of a range of historical periods and genres, representing a broad cross-spectrum of current scholarship. The conference was conducted bilingually in Russian and English, and was attended by a large contingent of musicologists from the Russian Federation and former Soviet republics, affording an unprecedented opportunity for intellectual exchange amongst scholars based on both sides of the former Iron Curtain.

In view of the abundance and diversity of topics in evidence, finding a coherent unifying focus for a collection of essays developed out of selected papers presented a formidable challenge. After much deliberation, the editors decided to narrow its purview to a research field that has undergone a dramatic transformation since glasnost’ and attracted increasing attention from the general public and wider scholarly community—the development of the Russian art music tradition after the watershed year of 1917. Before proceeding to describe the volume’s rationale, organisation and contents in greater detail, a brief discussion of the nature of this tradition and the intellectual issues that it raises may be helpful to non-specialist readers, as well as some account of how musicological scholarship intersects with other domains of Russian, Soviet and post-Soviet studies.

(p.2) The Russian Art Music Tradition and its Development after 1917: Themes and Issues

European art music was introduced to Russia in the sixteenth century during the reign of Ivan the Terrible, a period of expanding contact with the West. Its cultivation intensified significantly after the Westernising reforms of Peter the Great (1672–1725): by the mid-eighteenth century, Italian opera (then in international vogue) and concerts of instrumental music were widely patronised by the court and the aristocracy, and increasingly by wealthier members of the mercantile classes. The latter half of the nineteenth century was a period particularly rich in achievement, which saw the emergence of major native creative talents—amongst them, Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840–1893) and the coterie of composers influenced by Romantic nationalism, known in the West as ‘The Five’, whose members sought to evolve distinctively Russian compositional idioms. Russian musical life had become increasingly active and professionalised: conservatoires and private music schools multiplied, producing well-trained orchestral musicians and increasing numbers of outstanding singers and instrumental virtuosi. By the turn of the century, Russian music was very much in international vogue, thanks to the growing reputations of figures such as the composer-pianists Aleksandr Skryabin (1872–1915) and Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873–1943), and the skilful marketing of canny impresarios such as Sergey Diaghilev, who capitalised on its allure for foreign audiences as an exotic cultural product. The symphony concerts and performances of Russian operas and ballets organised by Diaghilev in Paris between 1907 and 1914 were deemed outstanding artistic events of the era, and became a byword for superlative technical standards and bold innovation. The scandalous premiere of Igor Stravinsky’s ballet Le sacre du printemps in 1913 by Diaghilev’s company Ballets russes catapulted the 30-year-old composer to world fame, placing a Russian at the forefront of the modernist movement. Within only a few decades, it seemed, the country had developed a musical culture of impressive richness and vitality, capable of sustaining favourable comparison with more venerable ones elsewhere.

The fate of this tradition after 1917 is a fascinating study from many points of view aside from the most obvious one, the contributions of its leading representatives to world culture. The names of composers such as Igor Stravinsky, Sergey Prokofiev and Dmitri Shostakovich or performers such as the pianist Sviatoslav Richter and the violinist David Oistrakh are as familiar to music lovers as the names of Vladimir Nabokov, Boris Pasternak and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn are to the general reader. And like their colleagues in literature, theatre and the visual arts, their achievements were often hard-won in the face of considerable difficulties, whether contending with the (p.3) repressive aspects of artistic life in the USSR or the vicissitudes of protracted foreign exile.

In the immediate aftermath of the October Revolution, the conditions of Russian musical life were exceptionally challenging. The devastation wrought by the Civil War brought the country’s already straitened economy to the point of collapse, and led to dire shortages of food, fuel and other basic necessities, causing widespread hardship. Musicians, like other sectors of the intelligentsia, were meagrely provided for during periods of enforced rationing: deaths from starvation and disease soared. Many of those in a position to do so emigrated, or if they were already living abroad, like Stravinsky, chose to remain there, prompted by anxiety for the future and antipathy to the new regime. One of the most immediate effects of 1917 was thus the division of Russian music into two streams, Soviet music and the music of the Russian diaspora. Representatives of both streams had to contend with dramatically altered circumstances and arrive at new understandings of themselves, each other and their relationships to the Western and Russian cultural and intellectual traditions that had shaped them. This task was greatly complicated by the febrile post-war artistic climate with its bewildering succession of compositional fads and fashions, and for Soviet musicians, by the new Bolshevik regime’s increasingly stringent controls over their activities and attempts to instrumentalise these in the service of political ideology. On either side of the Soviet border, Russian musicians found themselves grappling with fundamental questions concerning the nature and purpose of musical creativity, the social role of the artist and the relevance to the new mass audiences of a high musical culture whose value they had previously been able to take for granted. Their attempts to answer these questions, and the ways in which their answers influenced practices in composing and performing music, in thinking and writing about music, and in the administration of musical life have exerted an enduring fascination for the historian and remain centrally relevant to contemporary cultural debates.

Émigré musicians, like their counterparts in other Russian artistic and intellectual domains, faced the challenge of launching careers in unfamiliar environments. Even if they were successful, which was by no means always the case, their views of their adopted homelands were often as ambivalent as their attitudes to the Russia that they had abandoned. The composer-pianists Sergei Rachmaninoff and Nikolay Medtner despised the new Soviet regime, but found many aspects of life in the West temperamentally alien, experiencing lifelong feelings of deracination and spiritual exile. They were antipathetic to most manifestations of Western musical modernism, which they regarded as decadent, and saw themselves as preserving an authentic Russian culture that the Bolsheviks were laying waste. Stravinsky and the young Sergey Prokofiev, on the other hand, viewed Russian musical life as provincial and (p.4) consciously sought to forge a cosmopolitan identity, having come to regard the emphatic musical assertion of Russianness as outmoded: after the First World War, the exoticism of which Diaghilev had made such effective capital seemed something of an embarrassment. During the 1920s, their creative energies arguably derived as much from their energetic repudiation of Russian musical traditions as from engagement with them. But for all that, Prokofiev was eventually drawn back to take up permanent residence in the USSR in 1936: his impressions from his return visits during the late 1920s and early 1930s, when conditions had improved significantly, were sufficiently favourable as to foster the conviction that his homeland, rather than the West, would be the environment most conducive to his future creativity. Naïvety and wishful thinking played an important part in this decision, but Prokofiev was by no means alone in being impressed by the vitality of the early Soviet cultural scene and the strength of the state’s commitment to supporting the arts: many Western observers were too, amongst them public figures of the stature of George Bernard Shaw. These examples illustrate the complexities of allegiance and conflicted envisionings of self-identity amongst representatives of the émigré community during the interwar years. By the closing years of the Stalinist era, however, illusions about the regime’s essential benignity and its enlightened patronage of the arts were much harder to sustain. Not only émigrés, but also many Western artists and intellectuals increasingly came to see the Soviet Union as an environment fundamentally inimical to creativity worthy of the name—a circumstance which has had far-reaching consequences for the reception of Soviet music in the West, as shall be discussed presently.

The apparent extinction of artistic freedom in the USSR under Stalin seemed all the more disappointing after the promising developments of the 1920s, once the economy began to recover and musical life revived. From the outset, the importance that the Bolshevik leaders attached to the arts was clearly manifest; they saw in them a powerful instrument for transforming mass consciousness and creating the ‘new Soviet man’ (novïy sovetskiy chelovek). As the Party consolidated its control over the material basis of cultural life, becoming the sole source of patronage, sharply divergent views emerged concerning the forms of artistic production that were best suited to the new circumstances. Notable musicians such as Nikolay Myaskovsky (1881–1950) and Maksimilian Shteynberg (1883–1946), influenced by notions of Russian cultural exceptionalism originating with the nineteenth-century Slavophile movement, imagined Soviet musical culture as the inheritor and guardian not only of Russian musical traditions, but of European traditions that were lapsing into decadence in the West. Younger composers who came to prominence in the mid-1920s, such as Dmitry Shostakovich (1906–1975), evolved more experimental styles prompted by the work of Western modernists, and some, such as Nikolay Roslavets (1881–1944), hoped to effect an (p.5) alliance of radical politics with ‘advanced’ contemporary artistic trends. At the opposite extreme, calls were heard from the so-called ‘proletarian’ musical organisations to jettison much of the musical heritage of the past as a socially obsolete relic of bourgeois culture, and constrain composers to writing simple songs and marches that would serve to inculcate the Communist world view in the proletariat—an envisioning of the nature and purpose of musical creativity reminiscent of Plato’s Republic. The musical scene of the 1920s was thus remarkably diverse: the compositional styles in evidence ranged from conservative late Romantic idioms to those of the avant-garde, and all benefited from state support. In contrast to other Soviet artistic domains, however, the music of most composers active at this period maintained strong continuities with tradition. With the exception of Shostakovich, there are no avant-garde musicians whose work is of comparable significance to that of visual artists such as Kazimir Malevich and Vladimir Tatlin.

Even if more gifted composers of avant-garde inclinations had appeared, however, circumstances in the USSR would have proved unpropitious for the realisation of their abilities. After Stalin’s accession to power, the pluralism of the New Economic Policy (NEP) period came rapidly to an end, and the cultural scene would be increasingly dominated by proletarian artistic organisations agitating for more stringent ideological controls on cultural production. The Russian Association of Proletarian Musicians (RAPM) was a considerably smaller organisation than the powerful and well-organised Association of Proletarian Writers (RAPP), which was largely responsible for setting the agenda for the ideological crusades conducted during the Cultural Revolution of 1928–1932, but it nonetheless managed to gain control over most of the country’s key music institutions and wage a highly effective campaign of harassment and intimidation against those whom it regarded as its opponents. Its members were vociferous in their denunciations of modernist styles, popular music influenced by Western genres and other trends of which they disapproved. RAPM’s period of hegemony proved short-lived. In 1932, the Central Committee decreed the dissolution of all existing artistic organisations and moved to establish state-controlled artists’ unions. To widespread relief, the positions of RAPM and its cognates in other domains were discredited. The same year saw the first attempts to formulate the doctrines of Socialist Realism, an officially approved creative aesthetic ostensibly deriving from Marxist-Leninist philosophy, to which all artists would henceforth be expected to subscribe. Although Socialist Realism emphatically repudiated notions of art for art’s sake, free of any didactic or utilitarian function, and enshrined as a fundamental tenet the demand that art should be first and foremost a vehicle for state ideology, it also made explicit the understanding that Soviet creative artists should not seek to effect a violent breach with the past, but continue to develop selected nineteenth-century trends that were (p.6) considered ideologically progressive from a Marxist standpoint—most notably, realism in literature and painting.

Although these developments helped to stabilise a fraught situation, paradoxically they imbued it with an additional precariousness. On the one hand, membership of the Composers Union brought tangible professional and material benefits: aside from facilitating the commissioning, performance and publication of music at state expense, it afforded a range of privileges, including access to ‘closed’ shops selling goods largely unavailable to the general public, heavily subsidised holidays and ‘creative retreats’ at Union resorts, and special health-care provision. The extent of the state’s increased commitment to the maintenance and promotion of musical culture was beyond dispute—and covered not merely classical music, but also folk music and officially approved varieties of light music. Indeed, from the 1930s onwards, music became an increasingly important means of advertising the USSR’s cultural achievements at home and abroad. But while leading musicians were undoubtedly appreciative of their new social status, they would become increasingly aware that it came at a price.

On the face of it, the dissolution of RAPM appeared to signal a return to the status quo ante and the restoration of creative freedom of expression—or a measure of freedom at least. However, there was considerable uncertainty concerning the implications of the new directives on Socialist Realism for composers of ‘serious’ music, and how they could best be implemented. In principle, it was a comparatively straightforward matter for writers and visual artists to engage with ideological themes, even if the successful realisation of such projects presented significant artistic challenges. Novels could be written celebrating the selfless heroism of Soviet workers and idealised portraits painted of political leaders, presenting them as role models for the community. Music, however, communicates without need of words or concepts, and its symbolic representations are recalcitrant to verbal elucidation. Instrumental music posed a particular difficulty in this respect: symphonies and string quartets were patently incapable of treating comparable subjects and depicting external reality in concrete fashion. The most obvious means for music to convey ‘ideological content’ (to use a standard term in Soviet critical jargon) was a recourse to texts—either vocal compositions or so-called ‘programme music’, instrumental compositions illustrating an explicitly identified scenario, often deriving from a literary source (Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Overture, based on Shakespeare’s play, being a famous example). Although text-based genres were officially favoured on account of their supposedly greater accessibility to mass audiences, a consensus soon emerged that it would be undesirable to restrict composers to such approaches. At a conference convened to discuss the future development of Soviet symphonism in 1935, the editor of the journal Sovetskaya muzïka [Soviet Music] proposed (p.7) that composers of instrumental music could solve the problem through recourse to a syuzhet (a term that can be approximately translated as ‘plot’), which he explained as follows:

A composition’s syuzhet need not necessarily be understood to mean a programme—a device used formerly by Romantic composers—although Soviet composers should on no account disdain such a practice. But the creative task of employing a syuzhet derived from the life of the USSR’s toiling masses and their struggle to build socialism (as well as the valiant heroic struggle of the working classes abroad) by no means requires the use of a specified literary programme. The syuzhet need not even be indicated in a musical work’s title. In this understanding of the term, syuzhet should constitute the fundamental ideological creative kernel of a musical composition. A creative concept of this nature requires the composer completely to rethink the technical means necessary to convey his musical ideas, and equally obliges him to evolve a new fully-developed musical language to express his concept. For this reason, we contend that the problem of the syuzhet is a task of the highest priority for Soviet musical creativity.1

Woolly theorisations of this kind were of scant help: in practice, composers mostly fudged the issue, relying on vaguely phrased indications of the ostensible content of works in their programme notes and public pronouncements. (For example, Aram Khachaturian’s First Symphony (1935), which the composer dedicated to the fifteenth anniversary of the establishment of Soviet rule in Armenia, supposedly evoked his native country’s ‘past ordeals and sufferings, present light and joy, and faith in a wonderful future’.2) Nor was there much official guidance on how musical compositions could satisfy other key tenets of Socialist Realism, particularly the chimerical aspiration that they should be found readily comprehensible and accessible by a musically uneducated listenership: the limits of acceptable stylistic and technical practices remained undefined.

For a time, this vagueness worked to composers’ advantage, as it afforded some freedom of manoeuvre. However, in the longer term, it left them vulnerable to attack. When the first blow fell, it was as traumatic as it was unexpected. In January 1936, Stalin attended a Bolshoi Theatre production of the opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District by Dmitry Shostakovich, a 29-year-old composer from Leningrad. Based on a grim tale of adultery and betrayal by the nineteenth-century writer Nikolay Leskov, Shostakovich’s score had been acclaimed as a masterpiece and enjoyed an extraordinary success by Soviet standards. On 28 January, a scathing unsigned editorial appeared in Pravda under the heading ‘Muddle Instead of Music’, denouncing the opera as (p.8) decadent and cacophonous. This event sent shock waves through the wider artistic community and signalled a hardening of official hostility towards modernist styles. For the remainder of the 1930s, the situation remained tense: at a period dominated by show-trials and purges of the Soviet elite, conditions were scarcely conducive to risk-taking or bold artistic innovation. Although the number of high-profile musicians who were shot or confined to labour camps appears to have been smaller than in other artistic domains, the musical community was by no means spared. Stalin’s increasingly isolationist foreign policies attenuated cultural contacts with the West. Visits by foreign composers and performers diminished. Ominously, having returned to the USSR on condition that he could retain his right to travel abroad, Prokofiev learnt in 1938 that his foreign passport had been revoked, leaving him and his family trapped in the country. Music by Western modernists disappeared from concert programmes, as did work by émigrés, all mention of whom was expunged from public discourse, unless in disparaging terms. Composers such as Stravinsky were deemed to have thrown in their lot with the forces of bourgeois reaction, and the music that they had written abroad was derided as alien to Russian cultural traditions.

Restrictions eased somewhat during the war years, and cultural exchange resumed with the members of the Allied powers (the widespread performances of Shostakovich’s Leningrad Symphony in Britain and the United States being perhaps the most conspicuous manifestation in the cultural sphere of this temporary détente), but the widespread hopes amongst the intelligentsia for a post-war climate of greater openness were quickly dashed. The year 1946 saw the inauguration of a campaign to reinforce strict ideological orthodoxy in all areas of cultural and intellectual life, spearheaded by the senior Communist Party functionary Andrey Zhdanov. Prominent figures, such as the writers Anna Akhmatova and Mikhail Zoshchenko, were publicly humiliated and became pariahs overnight. Many artists and intellectuals were dismissed from their posts or denied work, suffering great hardship in consequence. The campaign was extended to music in early 1948, with the publication of a Central Committee resolution condemning a group of the country’s leading composers (amongst them, Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Myaskovsky) for their failure to adhere to Socialist Realist doctrines with sufficient strictness. A purge of the musicological section of the Composers Union ensued the following year, which saw eminent scholars denounced for having written too sympathetically about the proscribed composers or about Western music and musical life. The damage done to the profession was immense: a flight from the study of topics perceived as posing risks and a marked degradation in intellectual standards owing to the constraints of censorship and the necessity to treat subjects from flagrantly tendentious perspectives.

(p.9) In spite of these demoralising circumstances, some composers and musicologists displayed remarkable resilience, producing work of genuine distinction—though its public dissemination was often delayed until times were more propitious for its reception. Nevertheless, the stifling atmosphere of the late Stalin era was not only creatively and intellectually inhibiting, but fundamentally inimical to cultural renewal. Khrushchev broke decisively with the most repressive policies of his predecessor and relaxed constraints on freedom of expression to some extent, but the effects of the ‘Thaw’ (khrushchyovskaya ottepel’) of the later 1950s and early 1960s on musical life were limited. Artists from outside the Eastern bloc began to visit in greater numbers and restrictions on previously banned repertoire were eased, affording Soviet musicians an opportunity to learn about developments outside the USSR and its zone of influence. A group of younger composers emerged, beginning with Edison Denisov and Andrey Volkonsky, who derived stimulus from the work of Boulez and other representatives of the Western avant-garde, and the music of some older figures such as Shostakovich began increasingly to test the boundaries of stylistic acceptability. Nevertheless, Socialist Realism remained in force and ideological hostility towards the cultural products of Western capitalist countries persisted into the Brezhnev era. The study of subject areas such as religious music and Western modernism continued to be discouraged. Music deemed to reflect decadent Western influences still incurred official opprobrium and was subject to strict censorship—and not merely contemporary classical music, but also jazz, Western pop and rock music, and non-conformist Soviet popular genres. While these restrictions were a source of considerable frustration to many, it is important to emphasise that attitudes towards them were by no means uniform. The overwhelming emphasis in much Western writing on Soviet music on the effects of censorship and bureaucratic controls risks distorting and oversimplifying our impressions of a cultural scene that remained stubbornly complex and diverse, in spite of all the pressures to conform. The ambivalences of cultural allegiance and of self-envisioning persisted until the demise of the USSR: the same environment that formed Denisov could also form a major figure such as Georgiy Sviridov (1915–1998), a composer of a strongly Slavophile and nationalist outlook whose responses to Western musical modernism and to Western culture generally were anything but uncritically admiring.

By the time the USSR eventually disintegrated in 1991, ideological constraints on musical life had become all but a dead letter, but the upheaval of the early post-Soviet period brought fresh challenges—not least economic and material. Many cultural institutions established during the Soviet era foundered—including artists’ unions, concert organisations, publishers and research institutes. Composers, performers and musicologists suddenly found themselves subject to the vagaries of the marketplace: inevitably, some (p.10) individuals and organisations adapted better than others. As in the aftermath of the 1917 Revolution, significant numbers of musicians emigrated—amongst them notable creative figures such as Alfred Schnittke and Sofia Gubaidulina. Conditions gradually stabilised and music has continued to occupy an important place in the cultural life of the Russian Federation, though, as elsewhere, commercial popular music is predominant and contemporary classical music has become a marginal interest. There is a poignant irony in the fact that in the conditions of increased personal freedom of the post-Soviet era, the social relevance of composers of serious music has sharply diminished. The Soviet regime accorded them an honoured status that was paradoxically enhanced by the humiliations that it intermittently visited on their finest representatives: official censure was a sign of music’s perceived importance. This sense of importance was widely shared by the educated public: it is important to bear in mind the enduring influence throughout the Soviet period of distinctively Russian envisionings of art and the person of the artist ultimately deriving from German Romanticism, and mediated through the writings of notable nineteenth-century Russian literary and intellectual figures such as Pushkin, Chaadayev, Chernïshevsky and Tolstoy. Intrinsic to them were a conception of the arts as a precinct of civilised values and source of moral guidance, and of the artist as a being apart, devoted to a higher spiritual cause, for whom personal integrity and artistic integrity were at bottom one and the same.3 Of all the losses resulting from the changed conditions, the loss of this position of spiritual and cultural authority was perhaps the most traumatic. Twenty-five years later, Russian composers living at home and abroad are still grappling with difficult questions of identity—an issue explored in the closing section of this volume.

Russian, Soviet and Post-Soviet Music Studies

The field of Russian music studies (to use this as a convenient shorthand term, understood to comprise Soviet and post-Soviet developments, as well as the post-1917 Russian musical diaspora) has an interesting and problematic history. In the Russian-speaking world, the systematic study of Russian musical traditions did not get under way until the 1920s, when musicology was established as a recognised discipline within Soviet educational institutions and research institutes.4 The number of scholars working in the field expanded (p.11) rapidly, and over the next sixty years a substantial quantity of publications appeared on Russian art music traditions and the numerous ethnic musics of the Soviet empire. Although some of these publications were of indisputably high quality, many suffered from significant limitations arising from the constraints of censorship and ideological pressures—trends that became even more marked after the traumatic watershed of 1948–1949. Research on Russian music of earlier historical periods presented serious difficulties because it necessitated discussion of awkward subjects such as the Russian Orthodox Church or aristocratic patronage. In consequence, musicologists mostly concentrated on nineteenth-century figures, starting with Mikhail Glinka, the much-mythologised ‘father of Russian composition’, and to a lesser extent on Soviet music. Even here, however, they had to proceed with caution: exploring issues such as Russian composers’ indebtedness to Western influences was potentially to enter a minefield. Nor was it possible to skirt such difficulties by confining themselves to discussing compositions from a purely technical point of view, as this made one vulnerable to the accusation of ‘formalism’—one was expected to concentrate instead on elucidating compositions’ putative ideological content by means of dubious hermeneutic strategies.5 Textual scholarship was less hazardous an occupation, on the whole; and perhaps the most valuable legacy bequeathed to us by Soviet musicologists is the numerous collections of primary source documents, such as musicians’ letters, diaries and reminiscences. Here too, however, the exigencies of censorship often compelled the editors to make cuts or tamper with the original texts in other ways, so they are not always entirely reliable. Needless to say, when it came to publications on Soviet figures, frank discussion of many topics was impossible.

In the West, Russian and Soviet music remained a marginal area within musicology until the 1990s. The music of Russian composers such as Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and Rachmaninoff may have been standard concert fare, but its critical standing was generally low: within the academy, it tended to be regarded with condescension as appealing to unsophisticated middlebrow tastes. In spite of the pioneering contributions of figures such as Gerald Abraham in Britain and Boris Schwarz in the United States, the subject remained unfashionable. No doubt the challenges inherent in learning Russian acted as a significant deterrent to prospective graduate students, as did the difficulties of access to key source materials in Soviet libraries and archives. Independently verifying the contents of Soviet publications was often impossible. In an essay written in 1984, the American scholar Richard Taruskin pointed out that these circumstances placed severe limits on what (p.12) Western scholars could realistically hope to accomplish in their efforts to reappraise Russian musical life and to make significant original contributions to research in the field.6 But as Taruskin acknowledged in a new postscript to his essay when it was republished in 2008, it was unthinkable in 1984 that the rather dispiriting situation he had outlined would change dramatically only seven years later, creating ‘a heady sense of starting afresh’.7

With the collapse of the USSR, some of the most serious practical difficulties confronting researchers disappeared. In the Russian Federation, the relaxation of censorship opened up the possibility of a thoroughgoing reconsideration of the past, and permitted the exploration of topics that had previously been taboo. In common with historians and scholars working on other cultural and intellectual domains, Russian musicologists began to explore the wealth of archival documentation that became accessible with the advent of glasnost’—and not merely at home, but also abroad, thanks to the lifting of restrictions on foreign travel. As a result, a sizeable quantity of new publications has since appeared, shedding new light on the careers and achievements of notable individuals, and on many aspects of Russian music and musical life. Needless to say, these materials have been invaluable to foreign musicologists, many of whom routinely visit the Russian Federation to carry out archival researches of their own. In the West, the numbers of researchers active in the field has grown considerably—partially owing to the burgeoning of the discipline of Russian cultural studies, but also as a result of significant changes of emphasis and approach within the discipline of historical musicology since the 1980s. The nature of the work that has been undertaken in Russian music studies since glasnost’ is explored in depth in the first four chapters that follow, but a few issues merit brief discussion here in order to explain the present volume’s underlying rationale and its intended audience, as well as the ways in which contemporary Russian music studies links with other domains of intellectual enquiry.

The editors’ decision to focus on high musical culture in the period after 1917 was prompted by several considerations. The first is that musicological research in this field has been particularly intense on both sides of the former Iron Curtain, as part of a larger ongoing project of reassessment of the Soviet past. The intensity of contemporary research activity on the Soviet art music tradition not only reflects its richness, but also its position of centrality in Soviet cultural life. While Soviet ideologues and cultural bureaucrats by no means disdained popular culture (provided it remained within approved (p.13) forms), there can be no doubting the greater official importance attached to high culture, which was central to constructs of Soviet identity and of civic virtue, and hence to social cohesion. The quality of kul’turnost’, being a cultured person, was ubiquitously prized: for Soviet citizens, a love of classical music, together with an informed appreciation of the classics of world literature and painting, was widely understood to be intrinsic to a civilised existence and one of the principal hallmarks of anyone who wished to be considered educated.8 From the 1930s onwards, attendance at the opera, ballet and symphony concerts rose rapidly, and remained at high levels throughout the Soviet period.9

Considerations arising from the volume’s potential readership further shaped its range of coverage and the nature of the contributions. In the interests of widening its accessibility, the editors felt it would be prudent to keep technical discussion of musical compositions and genres to a minimum, as music analysis employs highly specialist methodologies and terminology that are likely to be all but incomprehensible to the uninitiated reader. For the same reason, music theory and music analysis receive only brief mention in the chapters surveying post-glasnost’ scholarship on Russian music. Instead, the essays concentrate on issues pertaining to Russian music and musical life after 1917 that are of relevance not merely to musicologists and researchers in other fields of Russian cultural and historical studies, but potentially to scholars engaged in work on the relations between culture and political power, nationalism, imperialism, colonialism and postcolonialism, transculturation and diasporic communities. Broadly speaking, they are unified by two themes. The first is the relationship of Soviet and post-Soviet art music to its social, cultural and political contexts—and not merely the ways in which its composition and dissemination was shaped by these contexts and thus illuminates them, but also the ways in which musicians and the music that they wrote and performed helped to shape these contexts in turn. The second is the nature of the historical narratives of the development of Russian art music after 1917 that have evolved in the Russian-speaking world and outside it, and what these reveal about constructs of cultural identity on both sides of the former Iron Curtain, and how East and West have perceived and interpreted each other.

The partisan nature of Soviet-era accounts of Soviet musical life has already been mentioned, but much pre-glasnost’ Western writing on the (p.14) subject also suffered from significant limitations—especially the tendency to make highly questionable generalisations on the basis of limited knowledge, often coloured by an underlying attitude of hostility towards the USSR. By and large, Western commentators portrayed Soviet musicians as powerless in the face of state repression and bureaucratic interference, with no alternatives other than abject conformity: incidents such as the denunciation of Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth in 1936 and the condemnation of the country’s leading composers in 1948 loom large in their narratives.10 This trend has by no means disappeared, and is still prevalent in popular journalism and writing published on the internet. But while these aspects of Soviet musical life are undeniably important, musicologists, like scholars in other areas of Russian studies, have increasingly come to recognise the inadequacy of top-down models of cultural construction in explaining modes of interaction between Soviet officialdom, artists and their audiences that were in reality far more complex. Interpreting Soviet musical life solely in the light of ideological pressures and political directives not only diminishes our sense of its richness and multifariousness, but can also hinder appreciation of the finest achievements of Soviet musicians from an artistic vantage point.

In their quest for alternative intellectual frameworks, musicologists have learned much from the work of their colleagues in allied fields and become increasingly interdisciplinary in their approaches. Dissatisfaction with top-down schemata became especially pronounced amongst the generation of Soviet social historians that came to prominence in the 1970s and 1980s, such as Sheila Fitzpatrick, J. Arch Getty and Vera Dunham. Their work suggested that the regime had rather less control over many areas of Soviet life than had been previously assumed, and highlighted examples of social pressures exerting a marked influence on policy formation and implementation. It prompted a considerable broadening of focus from the preoccupation with the activities of high-level political functionaries and bureaucrats that had previously predominated—a trend that intensified with the advent of new approaches to the study of cultural and intellectual history in the 1980s, influenced by the work of François Furet, Michel Foucault and others, and the concomitant growth of cultural studies.11 The purview of contemporary historians of Russian culture now extends to topics as diverse as the cultural expressions of ideologies such as nationalism, popular taste, subjectivity, gender and sexuality, religion, public spaces, institutions, tourism, mass (p.15) culture and the mass media, consumerism—potentially, to any aspect of Soviet and post-Soviet life.12 The commonalities of intellectual interest between Russian music studies and Russian social and cultural history are numerous, and will be abundantly evident in the chapters that follow. Suffice it to say here that musicologists have confirmed the importance of viewing the processes of Soviet cultural construction ‘from below’, and shown musicians to have been surprisingly resourceful in furthering and defending their own interests, in spite of pressures ‘from above’. Equally, they have highlighted music’s role in constructing Soviet identity and in shaping Western perceptions of the Soviet Other (and vice versa), as well as the ways in which writing on Russian music has echoed and reinforced prevailing modes of hegemonic discourse on both sides of the former Iron Curtain.

In the West, Russian music studies has also benefited from significant changes of approach and emphasis within the discipline of historical musicology itself. The traditional narrative of twentieth-century music was powerfully, though often unconsciously, conditioned by the Hegelian philosophy of history and Darwinian evolutionary theory—a tendency that originated in the mid-nineteenth century in German historical writing on the arts and became especially prominent in accounts of the music of Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner.13 These accounts assumed an underlying teleology in the history of music, presenting it as progressing inexorably towards styles and musical forms of ever-increasing complexity and sophistication. Such notions, together with envisionings of art and the artist deriving from the French literary modernism, became central to the discourse surrounding musical modernism from its emergence at the turn of the twentieth century right into the 1960s, and continued to exert a strong influence on music historiography until comparatively recently. Textbooks and standard works of reference customarily presented the history of twentieth-century music as a chronicle of the deeds of heroic iconoclasts who broke violently with tradition and defied bourgeois tastes in their fearless, unrelenting pursuit of technical and stylistic innovation. Composers whose careers and achievements could be interpreted as conforming to this trajectory—notably, those of the so-called ‘Second Viennese School’ that formed around Arnold Schoenberg, and prominent members of the central European musical avant-garde that emerged in the late 1940s and 1950s, such as Pierre Boulez and Karlheinz Stockhausen—accordingly received extensive space and respectful treatment, whereas figures whose work was deemed to be ‘on the wrong side of history’ (p.16) were marginalised. Critical hostility towards styles that displayed strong continuities with nineteenth-century traditions was especially marked, and intensified by the highly influential polemics of the philosopher Theodor Adorno, who argued forcefully for the modernist composer’s moral obligation to confront audiences with the horror and desolation of the contemporary human condition as laid bare by the atrocities perpetrated in Nazi concentration camps, rather than assisting their flight from reality by purveying soothing musical platitudes evoking illusory possibilities of resolution and transcendence.

Such attitudes inevitably coloured the Western reception of Soviet music, insofar as it was known and performed there, since it had developed along different lines, and styles influenced by Western modernism were officially discouraged in the Soviet Union. The climate of the Cold War exacerbated matters: the prevalent view of the USSR was of a cultural wasteland, and unflattering comparisons were drawn between the supposed overwhelmingly staid conservatism and propagandistic nature of Soviet art and the dynamism of artistic modernism in the democracies of the Free West. Western commentators (especially in the anglophone world) often seemed reluctant to find much to praise in Soviet cultural life lest this be somehow construed as affirmative of totalitarianism itself—a subject to which several of the chapters in this volume will return.

Subsequent to the fall of the Iron Curtain, there has been growing awareness of the limitations arising from these entrenched aesthetic and ideological standpoints. Historical narratives of twentieth-century music that assessed composers according to their conformity to selected stylistic trends have come to seem suspect. This development has encouraged greater critical receptivity to the wider gamut of the past century’s compositional idioms, as well as the recognition that interesting (and, indeed, not so interesting) work could be written in all of them. Symptomatic of this trend has been the appearance of a major new work such as Richard Taruskin’s Oxford History of Western Music (2006), the fifth and sixth volumes of which consciously set out to offer a radically new and more inclusive account of the period. This changed climate has made it possible to approach Soviet music with greater sympathy and understanding. In this respect, the study of Russian music touches on intellectual issues of cardinal importance in relation to the discipline of historical musicology as a whole, raising fundamental questions about the ways in which unexamined assumptions affect the historian’s judgement and interpretations, and shape the processes of canon formation and critical validation.

(p.17) Scope and Organisation of the Volume

As the present volume abundantly demonstrates, more recent scholarship on Russian music has been animated by a spirit of greater dispassionateness and a concern to avoid such pitfalls. Both inside Russia and outside it, a steady stream of new publications has appeared which are based on extensive original research and constitute incontestably valuable achievements. The editors have sought to include here a representative selection of recent work by noted scholars on key topics pertaining to the history and historiography of Russian music since 1917, embracing the Soviet and post-Soviet periods as well as the Russian/Soviet musical diaspora. It is hoped that it will not only constitute a useful resource for the specialist, but also serve as an accessible introduction to the field for the general reader—in view of the widespread public interest in the work of leading Soviet composers such as Prokofiev and Shostakovich, as attested by frequent inclusion of such works in concert and broadcast programmes. Above all, it seeks to bring into clearer focus the ways in which outlooks on the period have changed and to examine critically such intellectual barriers to understanding as remain.

The chapters that follow are grouped thematically under six headings. Part I, ‘Russian music history and historiography today’, comprises two pairs of chapters that examine the field from a quaternity of contrasting and complementary perspectives. The first two, by Marina Rakhmanova and Patrick Zuk, survey developments in scholarship on the music of this era in Russia and outside it since glasnost’: they attempt to bring into clearer focus what has been achieved and to identify some potentially fruitful areas for further exploration. In order to underline the rapidity with which the field is continuing to undergo change, Marina Rakhmanova has adopted the strategy of interweaving the original text of her keynote address at the 2011 Durham conference with a commentary reflecting on developments during the intervening period. In the second pair of chapters, Marina Frolova-Walker and Levon Hakobian examine the difficulties encountered by Russian and non-Russian musicologists respectively in seeking to free themselves from the preconceptions that were formerly prevalent in assessments of Soviet music and musical life. Taken together, the four chapters thus present both Russian and non-Russian views of the current state of the field, East and West.

The four chapters in Part II, ‘Reappraising the Soviet past’, seek to examine afresh two issues of cardinal importance—the effects of state controls on Soviet music and musical life, and the effectiveness and consistency of their implementation. In other domains of Soviet cultural studies (notably literature and the visual arts), scholars have increasingly questioned the validity of ‘top-down’ models to explain the processes of cultural construction in the USSR: while it is undeniable that artists experienced (p.18) pressures to conformity that intensified significantly at certain periods (for example, during the Zhdanovshchina), there is growing evidence to suggest that official cultural policies met with an appreciable measure of support and that some artists willingly enjoined themselves to the task of fulfilling them. The situation was highly complex, and artists’ responses to the circumstances in which they found themselves varied considerably.

Inna Klause’s chapter presents preliminary findings from her pioneering research project investigating the extent to which musicians were subject to arrest and detention in labour camps. In spite of the incompleteness of the data at her disposal, she adduces compelling grounds to challenge assumptions that musicians were affected to a lesser extent than representatives of other artistic domains such as literature and film. However, the important fact emerges that musicians were incarcerated for reasons that generally had little to do with music per se—which complicates the task of assessing the role played by state terror in shaping Soviet musical creativity. Yekaterina Vlasova’s account of the Stalinist project to create a repertory of new Socialist Realist operas for the Bolshoi Theatre forcefully demonstrates how ineffectual and even counterproductive Soviet cultural policy not infrequently proved in practice. In spite of the theatre’s unrivalled material resources and assemblage of talent, and the involvement of leading composers, writers and directors, supported by special advisory teams, the results were disappointingly meagre: most of the works written were deemed unsatisfactory either on artistic or on ideological grounds, and never went into production.

Marina Raku examines the highly paradoxical attitudes towards the musical past prevalent in the 1920s and 1930s, as ideologues debated the forms of music-making and musical creativity that were most appropriate for the new sociopolitical context. If during the 1920s it was widely argued that the nascent Soviet musical culture should be predicated on an emphatic abjuration of many aspects of the country’s musical heritage as ideologically suspect, by the late 1930s a very different narrative had taken shape that envisioned the Soviet Union as the guardian of ‘high’ musical traditions that were lapsing into decadence elsewhere. Pauline Fairclough’s chapter explores the positions of prominent Russian and Western composers in this official cultural narrative as it evolved throughout the 1930s and 1940s by studying concert programming in Leningrad. Her findings reveal that it facilitated a concert life of surprising diversity that bears favourable comparison with major musical centres such as London: for all the bureaucratic constraints, musical culture of the Stalinist era was anything but impoverished.

The two chapters in Part III raise issues pertaining to the development of historical musicology in the USSR. Olga Manulkina details the calamitous effects of the condemnation of leading musicologists for ‘cosmopolitan’ and ‘formalist’ sympathies in 1949: a dramatic reduction in the number of scholars (p.19) working on Western music; the obligation to treat subjects from intellectually dubious ideological perspectives; bans on writing about certain repertories (such as Western musical modernism); and restrictions on the kind of methodological approaches that were permissible (for example, comparative studies). This situation was exacerbated by musicology’s isolation from other humanities disciplines through being excluded from university curricula and confined to conservatoires—a state of affairs that persists to the present day. Daniil Zavlunov explores the lingering influence of Soviet historiographical practices on our understandings of Mikhail Glinka, a seminal nineteenth-century figure, over two decades after glasnost’.

Part IV contains two chapters representing the domain of Shostakovich studies—an area of especial importance, not only on account of the composer’s significance in musical life of the Soviet period and his exceptionally distinguished creative contribution to it, but also because scholarship on Shostakovich is at a much more developed stage than work on other Soviet composers, and has been the locus of particularly fierce controversies with far-reaching implications for the field of study as a whole. If the portrait of the ‘Newest Shostakovich’ is anything to go by, it seems likely that other Soviet composers will equally emerge as figures of comparable complexity as their careers and creative achievements are studied more closely and their personal archives explored more extensively. Liudmila Kovnatskaya’s account of the young Shostakovich’s relationship with Valer’yan Bogdanov-Berezovsky makes for poignant reading, revealing a multifaceted personality which was all but concealed beneath the staid official public persona that Shostakovich later adopted in his dealings with the outside world—playful, witty, irreverent, delighting in the grossest profanity, yet possessed of a remarkable sensitivity and capacity for empathy. Olga Digonskaya’s examination of the composer’s various unrealised projects to write a large-scale work portraying Lenin touches on issues that are of considerable moment not merely for Shostakovich, but, by implication, for studies of other composers too. As she is at pains to emphasise, Shostakovich appears to have approached the task in all seriousness and regarded it as requiring his best efforts—which raises interesting questions about the extent to which he may genuinely have admired Lenin and been sympathetic to Communism as an ideology. Digonskaya’s painstaking detective work demonstrates the effort often required to establish the most basic of facts, and to dispel the fog of misinformation and misconceptions that still surround even a major figure such as Shostakovich.

The final two parts widen the focus of the volume beyond music in Soviet Russia. Part V considers new perspectives in scholarship on Russian émigré musical culture after 1917, an area that has witnessed a steady increase in research activity. Taking as his starting point an article by Arthur Lourié published in 1931, which asserts that Russian émigré composers, rather than (p.20) their Soviet counterparts, were writing the ‘true’ Russian music of the era, Richard Taruskin reflects on the challenges inherent in maintaining cultural cohesion in diaspora and whether expatriate Russian musicians have ever constituted a community in a meaningful sense. Elena Dubinets offers a searching analysis of the constructs of identity espoused by Russian émigré composers today, in an era of globalisation when migration has become a norm rather than an exception.

The three chapters in the concluding Part VI examine the effects on Russian musical creativity of the difficult transition to the post-Soviet period, when the state structures that had previously supported it either ceased to exist, or if they survived, did so in a greatly altered form. For many composers, the experience of this rupture was traumatic not only on account of the loss of prestige and material securities that they had previously enjoyed, but also because of the marginalised place that new music quickly came to occupy within contemporary Russian culture. Laurel E. Fay presents an eyewitness account of the tumultuous events at the Eighth All-Union Congress of Soviet Composers, held in April 1991 during the late stages of Gorbachev’s perestroika. It is a vivid snapshot of a critical moment in Soviet musical history, at a time of political upheaval, regional and ethnic strife, and economic collapse. William Quillen’s contribution examines the ways in which contemporary Russian composers have attempted to evolve new self-understandings by turning to the modernist art, literature and music of the early Soviet period for inspiration, seeking therein sources of stylistic and spiritual renewal. It is closely complemented by the final chapter in the volume, in which Lidia Ader discusses some of the striking paradoxes attendant on this enterprise, and seeks to elucidate what place in Russian cultural life a self-styled musical avant-garde can meaningfully claim for itself today.

In selecting contributors, the editors were anxious to ensure that the work of colleagues based in the Russian Federation would be extensively represented, given its foundational importance in the field. It is no exaggeration to say that much recent research undertaken on Russian music in the West has been revolutionised by the findings of Russian musical scholarship and is indebted to it at an absolutely fundamental level. Yet as Olga Manulkina explains in her chapter, the finest achievements of contemporary Russian musicology remain largely unknown abroad except to the small number of specialists who are sufficiently proficient in Russian to read them. Some Russian musicologists publish regularly in English, German, French and other languages, but this represents the merest fraction of what is produced, and few Russian musicological publications are translated. As anyone who teaches undergraduate or postgraduate courses on Russian music will know only too well, this circumstance limits explorations of many aspects of the research field with students. To the best of the editors’ knowledge, the present (p.21) volume is the first to feature such an extensive selection of contemporary Russian-language writings on key topics relating to Russian music since 1917, alongside contributions by Western and émigré scholars. In this respect, they hope that it will faithfully convey something of the rich polyphonic dialogue being conducted in the field, and the range of contrasting viewpoints and approaches that are now current.

Translating these contributions, seven in all,14 has presented significant challenges, not least because of the very considerable differences between Russian and anglophone traditions of academic prose. In seeking to render them in natural-sounding English, the editors have tried to preserve as much as possible the authors’ personal idiosyncrasies of expression and individual tone of voice, and to provide non-Russian-speaking readers with something approximating as closely as possible to the experience of reading these texts in the original language. Nor have our Russian colleagues been asked to conform to conventions and expectations peculiar to Anglo-American musicological discourse. Russian traditions of writing on music are less proscriptive than in the United States or in Britain, and accommodate rather greater diversity of style and approach. Correspondingly, Russian journals and edited volumes often include materials of a kind that are found seldom, if at all, in their anglophone counterparts nowadays—most notably, perhaps, transcriptions in extenso of archival documents (such as composers’ or performers’ letters or excerpts from their diaries) with annotations and a commentary. This circumstance is perfectly understandable when one considers the central importance of archival researches for the ongoing task of reappraising the Soviet past, and the fact that much of this documentation was previously unknown and inaccessible. Russian musicological publications also accommodate writing that could best be described as a half-way house between sophisticated belles lettres and academic genres, such as the contribution of Lidia Ader to the present volume—in which the author offers a personal and sometimes unabashedly subjective view of an artistic or cultural phenomenon, exploring it in an imaginative or speculative fashion and attempting to discern larger patterns of significance. (This mode of discourse has analogues in other domains of Russian intellectual life, with figures such as Mikhail Epstein amongst its most notable contemporary exponents.) Few anglophone musicological journals, by contrast, would publish writing of this nature.

Inevitably, some of the chapters in this volume touch on sensitive subjects, amongst them, perceptions of the shortcomings of past and current scholarship; the hindrances to greater objectivity on both sides; the complex relationships between Russian émigré musicians and their homeland; and the implications of recent political events for work in the field. Difficult though (p.22) discussion of such topics can sometimes be, the editors were firmly of the opinion that it should not be evaded. And while they by no means share or endorse all of the viewpoints presented (any more than they would necessarily expect the contributors to accept theirs), they have not sought to constrain their expression in any way. For one thing, this would have been self-evidently absurd, given that the topic of censorship looms so large in scholarship on Russian music since 1917. Moreover, at the time of writing, a commitment on both sides to mutually respectful dialogue on controversial issues seems more important than ever.

While this volume, being the first venture of its kind, cannot offer a wholly comprehensive treatment of recent scholarship and the issues that now dominate the field, its contents amply justify the ‘exultant note’ on which Richard Taruskin closed the postscript to his previously cited essay: ‘Not only have Russian-music scholars at home and abroad broken through to new levels of methodological sophistication and interpretative synthesis. Their (that is, our) achievements have also begun to trickle down into general musicological, and thence popular, consciousness.’15 The editors hope that it might signal the beginning of a more extensive representation of Russian musicological scholarship in the anglophone world, and encourage further collaboration with our Russian colleagues in the pursuit of greater mutual understanding of our respective cultures.


Proceedings of the British Academy, 209, 1–22. © The British Academy 2017.

(1) Nikolay Chelyapov, ‘Osnovnïye voprosï sovetskogo muzïkal’nogo tvorchestva’, Sovetskaya muzïka, 2 (1935), 3–4.

(2) Aram Khachaturyan, Stat’i i vospominaniya (Moscow, Sovetskiy kompozitor, 1980), p. 125.

(3) For a discussion of this phenomenon, see Isaiah Berlin, Russian Thinkers, ed. Henry Hardy and Aileen Kelly (London, The Hogarth Press, 1978), pp. 127–31.

(4) A comprehensive study of the development of musicology in the Russian-speaking world has yet to be written. To date, the only notable publication on the subject is Tat’yana Bukina’s brief monograph Muzïkal’naya nauka v Rossii 1920–2000-kh godov (St Petersburg, Russkaya khristianskaya gumanitarnaya akademiya, 2010).

(5) For a discussion of such practices, see Marina Frolova-Walker, ‘“Music is Obscure”: Textless Soviet Works and their Phantom Programmes’, in Joshua S. Walden (ed.), Representation in Western Music (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2013), pp. 47–63.

(6) Richard Taruskin, ‘Some Thoughts on the History and Historiography of Russian Music’, Journal of Musicology, 4 (1984), 321–39 at 321.

(7) Richard Taruskin, ‘Some Thoughts on the History and Historiography of Russian Music’, in On Russian Music (Berkeley, University of California Press, 2010), p. 41.

(8) For a discussion, see Vadim Volkov, ‘The Concept of Kul’turnost’: Notes on the Stalinist Civilizing Process’, in Shelia Fitzpatrick (ed.), Stalinism: New Directions (London, Routledge, 2000), pp. 209–30.

(9) For detailed statistical data about the rapid development of musical infrastructures in the 1930s and corresponding growth in audiences for classical music, see Viktor Neygol’dberg, Funktsionirovaniye iskusstva v zerkale statistiki: 1920–1930 gg., vol. 1 (Moscow, Rossiyskiy institut iskusstvoznaniya, 1993).

(10) See Patrick Zuk, ‘Nikolay Myaskovsky and the “Regimentation” of Soviet Composition’, Journal of Musicology, 3 (2014), 354–93; and the third chapter in the present volume.

(11) For informative overviews of the changing approaches to the study of Soviet history since the 1960s, see Sheila Fitzpatrick, ‘New Perspectives on Stalinism’, The Russian Review, 4 (1986), 357–73; and idem, ‘Politics as Practice: Thoughts on a New Soviet Political History’, Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, 1 (2004), 27–54.

(12) General readers wishing to gain an overview of the field could usefully consult Catriona Kelly and David Shepherd (eds.), Russian Cultural Studies: An Introduction (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1998).

(13) For an excellent introduction to this topic, see Golan Gur, ‘Music and “Weltanschauung”: Franz Brendel and the Claims of Universal History’, Music and Letters, 3 (2012), 350–73.

(14) An additional essay, by Inna Klause, was translated from German.