Download PDF by Pauline Fairclough: A Soviet Credo: Shostakovich's Fourth Symphony

By Pauline Fairclough

Composed in 1935-36 and meant to be his inventive 'credo', Shostakovich's "Fourth Symphony" used to be no longer played publicly until eventually 1961. the following, Dr Pauline Fairclough tackles head-on some of the most major and least understood of Shostakovich's significant works. She argues that the "Fourth Symphony" was once noticeably diverse from its Soviet contemporaries by way of its constitution, dramaturgy, tone or even language, and as a result challenged the norms of Soviet symphonism at a vital degree of its improvement. With the backing of admired musicologists comparable to Ivan Sollertinsky, the composer may perhaps realistically have anticipated the top-rated to have taken position, and should also have meant the symphony to be a version for a brand new form of 'democratic' Soviet symphonism. Fairclough meticulously examines the ranking to notify a dialogue of tonal and thematic techniques, allusion, paraphrase and connection with musical varieties, or intonations. Such research is decided deeply within the context of Soviet musical tradition through the interval 1932-36, regarding Shostakovich's contemporaries Shabalin, Myaskovsky, Kabalevsky and Popov. a brand new approach to research can also be complicated right here, the place a number of Soviet and Western analytical equipment are educated by means of the theoretical paintings of Shostakovich's contemporaries Viktor Shklovsky, Boris Tomashevsky, Mikhail Bakhtin and Ivan Sollertinsky, including Theodor Adorno's past due research of Mahler. during this means, the ebook will considerably elevate an figuring out of the symphony and its context.

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Extra resources for A Soviet Credo: Shostakovich's Fourth Symphony

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While reports of foreign delegates note that Bukharin's speech provoked lively discussion (p . 235 ) , there was harsh criticism of Bukharin (and Gorky) from Soviet delegates as well as praise; see especially pp . 235-6 . In fact, there was so much criticism of Bukharin that one writer (P. Sletov) defended him, claiming that the importance of his speech had not been understood. A few other writers (S . Budantsev, V. Sovsun) _praised him; Sovsun (said to be expressing the mood of the whole group) thought that Bukharin had been too afraid to stray far from the Party line (p .

THE SOVIET SYMPHONY IN THE 1 930s 3 Proletarian Symphonism Although the favoured genres of RAPM tended to be vocal, with explicitly ideological texts - mass songs, cantatas , song-symphopies·, operas and so on some of its most prominent composers also wrote chamber music , symphonies and concertos . But despite RAPM approval of past 'revolutionary' figures such as Beethoven, their suspicion of the abstract symphonic genre was deeply enough rooted to provoke calls for a new kind of 'proletarian' symphonism based on mass song .

This level of sophistry was an inevitable by-product of Stalinist culture. Artists had to think big: large-scale Romantic genres reflected the grandiose pretensions of the Stalin administration. Though a prominent feature of the 1 930s was the wholesale abandonment of the proletarian cause, this could not be acknowledged, and so the rhetoric of collectivity remained potent. So Sollertinsky had to juggle demands for social relevance, technical sophistication and moral integrity. One assilmption running through all discussions of the Soviet symphony's future development, during both the proletarian period and afterwards , was that it should be able to rank alongside the greatest works of Romantic bourgeois culture.

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