Author Topic: Aside from the famous ones, who is your favorite Soviet composer?  (Read 2333 times)

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Offline relm1

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Re: Aside from the famous ones, who is your favorite Soviet composer?
« Reply #40 on: June 05, 2020, 05:15:49 AM »
Your definition includes a lot of people, though, as it doesn't refer to nationality in any way. So Copland and Boulez and Stockhausen as well. And Stravinsky.

To answer what I think you were going for, however, Avet Terterian.

Strange response.  So Copland, Boulez, and Stockhausen qualify as Soviets now?  And Stravinsky qualifies as non-famous?  Ok.

Offline relm1

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Re: Aside from the famous ones, who is your favorite Soviet composer?
« Reply #41 on: June 05, 2020, 05:21:08 AM »
This illustrates how random and "pointless" these classifications are. Arvo Pärt perhaps used to be a Soviet composer, but has certainly always identified himself as an Estonian! Are we supposed to call Pärt a Soviet composer just because Estonia's independence wasn't restored until 1991? How about Valentin Silvestrov? Did he identify himself as a Soviet or Ukranian composer? These are important things because how you identify yourself has an influence on your art! Weinberg can be perhaps called a "genuine" Soviet composer, but even he much have had Polish identity. However, this is a fool game. I like or dislike a composer regardless of their nationality, country of birth or how they identified themselves.

Wouldn't you say the Soviets would include Part since Estonia was in the Soviet Union till 1992?  I think Schnittke is a more complex since he left in the 1970's to live in Germany when he was in his mid 30's.  So I could see that as Soviet/German.  It does get a bit slippery and is a bit of judgement. 

Offline relm1

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Re: Aside from the famous ones, who is your favorite Soviet composer?
« Reply #42 on: June 05, 2020, 05:22:47 AM »
Concerning Khachaturian, it might be worth mentioning that there are two of them: Aram (= famous) and Karen (not so famous, but also a writer of symphonies, concertos and other ambitious works, in a perhaps slightly more modern and introvert style).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karen_Khachaturian

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aram_Khachaturian

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Re: Aside from the famous ones, who is your favorite Soviet composer?
« Reply #43 on: June 05, 2020, 08:03:46 AM »
Wouldn't you say the Soviets would include Part since Estonia was in the Soviet Union till 1992?  I think Schnittke is a more complex since he left in the 1970's to live in Germany when he was in his mid 30's.  So I could see that as Soviet/German.  It does get a bit slippery and is a bit of judgement.

Gubaidulina also left the Soviet Union to live in Germany, so does this maker her Soviet/German as well?
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Offline Christo

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Re: Aside from the famous ones, who is your favorite Soviet composer?
« Reply #44 on: June 05, 2020, 08:13:43 AM »
Gubaidulina also left the Soviet Union to live in Germany, so does this maker her Soviet/German as well?
Hardly, she stemmes from Tatarstan, which was an integral part of Russia (and the Soviet-Union) since the 1550s. She has Tatar ethnic roots herself BTW.

Estonia was simply occupied by Stalin and cannot be compared to Tatarstan or other Republics; the occupation is more comparable to the occupation of Denmark or Norway by Nazi-Germany.
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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Aside from the famous ones, who is your favorite Soviet composer?
« Reply #45 on: June 05, 2020, 08:17:34 AM »
Hardly, she stemmes from Tatarstan, which was an integral part of Russia (and the Soviet-Union) since the 1550s. She has Tatar ethnic roots herself BTW.

Estonia was simply occupied by Stalin and cannot be compared to Tatarstan or other Republics; the occupation is more comparable to the occupation of Denmark or Norway by Nazi-Germany.

Ah yes, I had forgotten about her Tatar roots. Thanks for the correction.
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Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Aside from the famous ones, who is your favorite Soviet composer?
« Reply #46 on: June 05, 2020, 08:19:37 AM »

People naturally change as they get older and there have been plenty of cases of Soviet dissidents ultimately becoming pro-authoritarian (Solzhenitsyn is perhaps the most infamous).

Based on what I know about Soviet dissidents, a lot of them were always pro-authoritarian. The fact that they were anti-communist tended to conceal this.

I think Schnittke is a more complex since he left in the 1970's to live in Germany when he was in his mid 30's.  So I could see that as Soviet/German.  It does get a bit slippery and is a bit of judgement. 

Schnittke didn't move to Germany until about 1990. He had Volga German ancestry and grew up speaking German as well as Russian. I don't want to get into the complexities of Soviet nationality policy, but he probably could have claimed German nationality in the USSR.
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Re: Aside from the famous ones, who is your favorite Soviet composer?
« Reply #47 on: June 05, 2020, 08:24:01 AM »
Schnittke didn't move to Germany until about 1990. He had Volga German ancestry and grew up speaking German as well as Russian. I don't want to get into the complexities of Soviet nationality policy, but he probably could have claimed German nationality in the USSR.

His father was actually a German Jew and his mother was Volga German. So there’s not a drop of Russian blood in him.
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Offline Florestan

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Re: Aside from the famous ones, who is your favorite Soviet composer?
« Reply #48 on: June 05, 2020, 08:31:38 AM »
Based on what I know about Soviet dissidents, a lot of them were always pro-authoritarian. The fact that they were anti-communist tended to conceal this.

I think this is not so clear-cut an issue. Let's take the most (in)famous case: Solzhenitsyn. Anyone who has attentively read The Gulag Archipelago knows that for him the Russian Enpire was paradise on earth when compared to USSR. Now, I ask you and anyone else: all things considered, if forced at the point of a gun to choose, where would you have rather lived, in Tsarist Russia or in the USSR? My own answer can be correctly guessed just by looking at my avatar. (And I hasten to add that strictly politically speaking I am an intractable Russophobe).
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Offline 71 dB

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Re: Aside from the famous ones, who is your favorite Soviet composer?
« Reply #49 on: June 05, 2020, 08:33:41 AM »
His father was actually a German Jew and his mother was Volga German. So there’s not a drop of Russian blood in him.

How much Russian blood is needed to be a Soviet artist?
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Offline Florestan

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Re: Aside from the famous ones, who is your favorite Soviet composer?
« Reply #50 on: June 05, 2020, 08:35:59 AM »
How much Russian blood is needed to be a Soviet artist?

Good question, Poju, very good. Hanns Eisler had no (known) drop of Russian blood in his veins yet he was Soviet through and through.  ;D
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Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Aside from the famous ones, who is your favorite Soviet composer?
« Reply #51 on: June 05, 2020, 08:59:52 AM »
I think this is not so clear-cut an issue. Let's take the most (in)famous case: Solzhenitsyn. Anyone who has attentively read The Gulag Archipelago knows that for him the Russian Enpire was paradise on earth when compared to USSR. Now, I ask you and anyone else: all things considered, if forced at the point of a gun to choose, where would you have rather lived, in Tsarist Russia or in the USSR? My own answer can be correctly guessed just by looking at my avatar.

I suppose I should clarify my point. Many dissidents were never liberal or democratic at all. A lot of them were hardcore nationalists of various stripes, dissenting Marxists who thought the Communist Party had strayed from the true path, or promoters of oddball political ideas like Eurasianism. (As an instructive example, consider the career of Georgia's first post-Soviet president, Zviad Gamsakhurdia.) About people like this, the novelist Sergei Dovlatov said "after Communists, I hate anti-Communists the most."

It is mainly Westerners marinated in liberal democratic ideology who assume that, because somebody opposes an oppressive gov't, they must necessarily be a liberal democrat (i.e. "like us"). E.g., they are shocked (shocked, I tell ya!) upon discovering that the heroic political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi is actually a Burmese nationalist who persecutes Muslims.

Anyway, I don't want to derail this thread so I'll stop there.

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(And I hasten to add that strictly politically speaking I am an intractable Russophobe).

Yeah, you've made that pretty clear  :D
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Offline Florestan

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Re: Aside from the famous ones, who is your favorite Soviet composer?
« Reply #52 on: June 05, 2020, 09:20:02 AM »
It is mainly Westerners marinated in liberal democratic ideology who assume that, because somebody opposes an oppressive gov't, they must necessarily be a liberal democrat (i.e. "like us").

Totally agreed. "Arab Spring" immediately comes to mind.

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Yeah, you've made that pretty clear  :D

I'd like to clarify it even more: on one hand, I loathe and hate, nay, I abhor Russian politics, be it Tsarist or Soviet; on the other hand, I like and love, nay, I adore Russian music and literature, mostly Tsarist, partially Soviet.  :D

When watching Russian movies I am delighted to discover that I do remember quite a lot of my Russian courses I had in school for 4 years. And I can fluently read (as different from fluently understand) Russian.

But you didn't answer my question, though.  ;)

 
« Last Edit: June 05, 2020, 09:29:22 AM by Florestan »
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Re: Aside from the famous ones, who is your favorite Soviet composer?
« Reply #53 on: June 05, 2020, 09:53:45 AM »
How much Russian blood is needed to be a Soviet artist?

Zero, but I was merely reiterating a point made by Apollo about Schnittke.
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Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Aside from the famous ones, who is your favorite Soviet composer?
« Reply #54 on: June 05, 2020, 10:00:40 AM »
But you didn't answer my question, though.  ;)

I can't answer your question the way it was posed, because it really depends on one's circumstances and status within either of those countries, not to mention the historical periods specified.
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Offline Florestan

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Re: Aside from the famous ones, who is your favorite Soviet composer?
« Reply #55 on: June 05, 2020, 10:05:07 AM »
I can't answer your question the way it was posed, because it really depends on one's circumstances and status within either of those countries, not to mention the historical periods specified.

Okay, then. Consider your present circumstances and status and transpose them either in Tsarist Russia or in the USSR. What would you rather have? Come on, it's just for fun, man.  :D
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Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Aside from the famous ones, who is your favorite Soviet composer?
« Reply #56 on: June 05, 2020, 10:12:30 AM »
Okay, then. Consider your present circumstances and status and transpose them either in Tsarist Russia or in the USSR. What would you rather have? Come on, it's just for fun, man.  :D

My present circumstances would probably best suit me for life in the one of the major urban centers of the late-period Russian Empire (say, approx. 1870-1914).

Whew, that was fun.
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Offline Florestan

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Re: Aside from the famous ones, who is your favorite Soviet composer?
« Reply #57 on: June 05, 2020, 10:15:25 AM »
My present circumstances would probably best suit me for life in the one of the major urban centers of the late-period Russian Empire (say, approx. 1870-1914).

Thanks for your honest answer, which coincidentally or not is also mine.  8)

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Whew, that was fun.

Wasn't it?  :D
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Offline some guy

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Re: Aside from the famous ones, who is your favorite Soviet composer?
« Reply #58 on: June 05, 2020, 10:15:41 AM »
Strange response.  So Copland, Boulez, and Stockhausen qualify as Soviets now?  And Stravinsky qualifies as non-famous?  Ok.
According to the definition given by the OP. You left off the crucial part of my sentence "as it doesn't refer to nationality in any way" in order to make this bad faith remark.

And I wasn't addressing "fame" at all. You're the one who illustrated your definition with "Khatchaturian," who also would not qualify as non-famous.

Offline CRCulver

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Re: Aside from the famous ones, who is your favorite Soviet composer?
« Reply #59 on: June 05, 2020, 03:24:16 PM »
I think this is not so clear-cut an issue. Let's take the most (in)famous case: Solzhenitsyn. Anyone who has attentively read The Gulag Archipelago knows that for him the Russian Enpire was paradise on earth when compared to USSR. Now, I ask you and anyone else: all things considered, if forced at the point of a gun to choose, where would you have rather lived, in Tsarist Russia or in the USSR?

If all Solzhenitsyn said in his last years was that the Russian Empire was preferable to the Soviet era, that would be one thing. But in his last years he was calling for an authoritarian, Orthodox state centered around the Russian ethnos and in express opposition to the West. The Russian Empire, which was multi-ethnic and had an aristocracy that looked to Europe, did not satisfy the identitarian and spiritual values that he thought should be the basis of post-Soviet Russia.

With regard to Soviet dissidents holding abhorrent beliefs, that started to take off from the 1980s on. Many of the writings on which modern Russian nationalism was based were not widely available to Russians (even samizdat) until the era of perestroika.

As for Sofia Gubaidulina’s Tatar roots, this does get mentioned occasionally because it lets Gubaidulina be marketed as an exotic composer. Having vaguely Eastern roots helps one stand out from the crowd. But what doesn't get mentioned is that Gubaidulina's Tatar father preferred to assimilate to Russian and downplay his Tatar origins. Gubaidulina’s later interest in non-Western musics is the result of her learning about these things from books and talking with ethnographers, but she didn't actually absorb any of this in her home environment.

One reason Arvo Pärt shouldn't be identified as a "Soviet composer" is that Pärt himself bristles at this. He made a statement a few years ago that he would no longer respond to interview questions that referred to the Soviet era.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2020, 03:26:43 PM by CRCulver »