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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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From Enlightened to Sublime: Musical Life under Stalin, 1930–1948

From Enlightened to Sublime: Musical Life under Stalin, 1930–1948

(p.148) Chapter 7 From Enlightened to Sublime: Musical Life under Stalin, 1930–1948
Russian Music since 1917

Pauline Fairclough

British Academy

The years 1937–53 are generally thought of as stagnant ones for Soviet concert repertoire. This view, however, is predicated on a number of assumptions: first, that the drop in Western modernism in the schedules and its replacement by Soviet works had a stultifying effect on concert life; second, that the era of Socialist Realism was damagingly insular; and third, that cultural exchange ceased and Soviet composers lost touch with what was being composed in the West. This chapter challenges all those assumptions by analysing concert schedules of this period, presenting evidence of semi-formal/informal cultural exchange and considering the notion that Socialist Realism was not an isolated trend but part of a large-scale shift in European and American art whose importance has been side-lined in a still dominant cultural narrative of technical progress and complexity.

Keywords:   Musical life of Stalinist era, censorship, Socialist Realism, Soviet concert life

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