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Russian Music since 1917Reappraisal and Rediscovery$
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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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The Idea of the 1920s in Russian Music Today

The Idea of the 1920s in Russian Music Today

(p.376) Chapter 17 The Idea of the 1920s in Russian Music Today
Russian Music since 1917

William Quillen

British Academy

This chapter examines evocations of the early Soviet avant-garde in new compositions of the post-Soviet period, investigating how contemporary Russian composers imagine the modernist culture of the pre-Stalinist past and its significance. It is based upon interviews conducted by the author with contemporary Russian composers and analyses of recent musical works. As we will see, composers relate to the early Soviet avant-garde in a variety of ways. Importantly, attitudes to the 1920s are not merely celebratory: even some of the individuals today most interested in the early Soviet avant-garde see a dark side to its legacy, finding within modernist art of the Soviet 1920s disturbing messages about Russia’s fate or the course of the twentieth century, or even more sinister prophecies of larger tragedies to come.

Keywords:   post-Soviet culture, Russian new music, reception of new music, avant-garde music

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