The Historical Performance of Music: As leading dictionaries point out, the word symbol put forth in this time involved an authoritative summary of a faith or doctrine, a creed. It also centered around the connotation of something that stands for or suggests something else by reason of relationship, association, convention or accidental resemblance. A symbol came to be etched in common cultural perception as a type of visible sign for something invisible.
The Forgotten Avant Garde: While their integrity was repeatedly compromised by Stalin and the dogma of Socialist Realism and their personal lives were crushed by fear, they at least managed to emerge with international reputations and an admiring public. Not all Soviet composers fared so well, however, and many other inventive musical minds had to endure the same terror, only to be forgotten by history.
Turn-of-the-century Russia was a hotbed of new ideas. Collectors such as Ivan Morozov and Sergei Shchukin were bringing Impressionist paintings back from Paris, art nouveau or style moderne as it is known to Russians was becoming an influential architectural style in St Petersburg, and a new class of urban workers was shaping the political consciousness.
In all fields, the old order was starting to be challenged. The early s were the prelude to revolutions in art, architecture and music, as well as politics. In music, the composer Alexandr Skriabin was becoming progressively more mystical and unconventional as his interest in theosophy grew.
His late works, such as the Poem of Ecstasy and the Black Mass Sonatasought to create experiences of religious intensity for the listener through a musical language that went beyond the concepts of "major" and "minor" that had dominated serious Western music for centuries.
As well as being works of genius, his grand visions reflected increasing detachment from reality and even megalomania. For many young composers emerging in Russia during the early years of the twentieth century, Skriabin's experiments were a triumphant turning point in music the importance of which ranked alongside the Impressionistic works of his contemporary in France, Claude Debussy Departing from where these two great composers left off, the young Russian avant garde took tonality to its limits and beyond.
Although now forgotten, composers such as Nikolai RoslavetsAlexandr MosolovArthur LourieVladimir Deshevov and Gavriil Popovto name but a few, attracted international attention at the time and were praised by the likes of Shostakovich and Prokofiev.
The music of Roslavets has been described as "Skriabin on acid" and his complex system of "synthetic chords," "sound centres" and "rhythmoforms" has earned him the title of "the Russian Schoenberg" although he was actually Ukrainian. Mosolov's work is based on a similarly individualistic and complex system of tonal organization.
He used it to create what one critic has described as "raging passions and dark colors, sadness, despair, longing, resignation, no resolution and no triumph. Deshevov was much in demand as a composer whose orchestral works sought to recreate in music techniques used in theatre and film, whilst Popov, a contemporary of Shostakovich at the Leningrad Conservatoire, won the praise of Prokofiev and Glazonuv, as well as that of his more famous fellow student.
Indeed, Shostakovich's admitted himself to be "a great and ardent admirer" of Popov's dissonant First Symphonyan influence which is evident in Shostakovich's Fourth However, not everyone was so keen on the new avant garde.
The standard Communist line on the arts was evident even in the early years of the Soviet Union. In a interview, Lenin proudly confessed himself to be a "barbarian" and denounced Expressionism, Futurism, Cubism and "other 'isms'," proclaiming that it did not matter "what art gives to hundreds, or even thousands, out of a total population numbering millions.
Art belongs to the people. Even so, Louriewas an early victim of the new order, emigrating to Paris in disgust of Lenin's cultural policies in In the mids, the time was ripe for Stalin to make his grip on power absolute.
Stalin's famous dictum - "life has become more joyous, comrades, life has become happier" - first used inled to the promulgation of Socialist Realism.
Irony, angst and personal feeling had to be eliminated from art in favor of populist works which rejoiced in the glorious potential of life under Communism.
Indirectly, the Soviet avant garde had foreshadowed their own nemesis and having pioneered music which celebrated the machine age in the s, they were now forced into writing dreary cantatas and symphonies on the Soviet Union's industrial achievements. Free-spirited artists who failed to toe the line were publicly denounced, threatened and had their privileges removed.
The pressure to cave in and conform to the dictums of Socialist Realism was too great for many of the composers. The Soviet avant garde started to crumble, and since its initial international success could not be followed up, the names of its composers slipped from the memory of European audiences.
Composers like Shostakovich and Prokofiev were able to perform clever balancing acts, pushing the authorities to the limits and then mollifying them with a mellifluous piece of populism. Not all composers were so skilled at this game, however. Vladimir Deshevov and Alexei Zhivotov abandoned experimentalism altogether for the new official style, the latter leaving only a single modernist piece in his entire oeuvre - his highly respected Fragments for Nonet, Op.
Lev Knipper also threw in the towel, although the courage to experiment returned to him in his final years. Several composers withdrew to quiet provinces, where they would not attract so much attention.
Rosalvets, for example, lived in Uzbekistan for part of the early s - composing innocuous folk pieces. A few composers, such as Galina Ustvolskaya b.Three Most Important Composers of the Twentieth Centruy Words | 11 Pages.
ditties of the late s. With all that change, choosing only three composers to represent the entire twentieth century would be impossible.
JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary sources. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization helping the academic community use digital technologies to preserve the scholarly record and to advance research and teaching in sustainable ways. A great twentieth-century composer who was also a leading scholar of the folk music of his native land was. the violence of the Russian Revolution. Twentieth-century composers incorporated elements of folk and popular music within their personal styles because.
Scottish Music Review. Parting the Veils of Debussy’s Voiles David Code Lecturer in Music, University of Glasgow Abstract Restricted to whole-tone and pentatonic scales, Debussy’s second piano prelude, Voiles, often serves merely to exemplify both his early modernist musical language and his musical ‘Impressionism’.
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Italian composers of the early nineteenth century brought the pure bel canto style of opera to its peak. List one Italian composer who was a master of this style, and who was a prolific composer of songs, sacred music, chamber music, and some orchestral works as well as operas.
Course Area: History Designations: Statewide Core This course surveys the United States from the end of the Civil War to the present with emphasis on social, economic, and political problems of the 20th century.