IntroductionOne of the ongoing Twitter hashtag groups I participate with is #ClassicsaDay. The idea’s pretty simple: post a link to a classical work, and – in the body of the tweet – provide a little info about it.
For May 2017, some of the participants decided to use the theme #SovietaDay. Part 1 fills in the background behind my selections.
Below is the first group of composers I shared. For the most part, they're the generation leading up to the Revolution.
Soviet composers born 1859-1919Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov (1859-1935)
Ippoloitov-Ivanov was an established composer when the Revolution occurred. In other countries, composers writing in the late Romantic style were falling out fashion. In Russia, Ippoloitov-Ivanov's conservative style kept him out of the political controversies surrounding music.
Julius Eduardovich Conus (1869-1942)
Conus (or Konius) was violinist and composer who toured extensively before the Revolution. He was working in eastern Poland when the Soviets invaded. He then went to Moscow, where he taught and continued to compose. His conservative romantic style seemed to hold him in good stead.
Reinhold Moritzevich Glière (1874-1956)
Glière's students include Prokofiev, Koussevitzky, Myaskovsky, Khachaturian, and others. Glière managed to remain above party politics and had a long, distinguished career. His Concerto for Coloratura Soprano and Orchestra won the Stalin Prize in 1946.
Nikolai Roslavets (1881-1944)
Roslavets has been described as "Scriabin on acid." An unabashed modernist with cosmopolitan tastes, his music was banned in 1930, and not performed until well after his death.
Arthur Lourié (1892-1966)
After the Revolutions Lourié served as head of the music division of the Commissariat of Enlightenment. But his contemporary style was increasingly at odds with the Soviet ideal, and in 1921 he escaped to the West, eventually settling in the US. He was a colleague of Stravinsky, whose music he actively promoted.
Lev Knipper (1898-1974)
Knipper studied with Reinhold Glière and initially was quite experimental. He soon transitioned to a more Soviet-approved style. He also served as an agent for the OGPU (Soviet secret police).
Alexander Mosolov (1900-1973)
Mosolov was enamored of the futurist movement of the 1920s. His experimental style eventually led to exile in the Gulag in 1937. After release, he wrote in a politically approved style, but those works haven't retained the attention of his earliest compositions.