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You asked for Protopopov? You got him

September 22, 2017 by norman lebrecht

10 comments.


Several readers sought amplification of this recent post on silenced Soviet composers.


Comments (10)

    1. Robert Holmén says:

      Khachaturian? He was “denounced” and then “rehabilitated” in less than a year. Little injury to his career and the denunciation was a plus to western observers.

  1. Larry says:

    Any relation to the Russian Olympic ice skating champions, “The Protopopovs,” a husband and wife team?

    1. The composer Protopopov (Sergei) came well before the husband and wife skating team (Oleg and Ludmila). That would make him the Proto-Protopopov.

    2. John Borstlap says:

      He might be related to the early attempts at revolutionary pop music in the twenties (proto = first, pop = pop, ov = butt of a priest).

  2. John Borstlap says:

    A beautiful work…. a bit Scriabinesque, without Scriabine’s particular fingerprints but with a comparable harmonic language. You can also hear how it was to live in Russia at the time: dark menal clouds, chilling emotional mists, anxiety syndrome, very nervous tics in the right hand and the secret police around the corner.

  3. Peter Owen says:

    There was an avant gardist Russian composer called (Gavriil) Popov. That Protopopov came before him is one of the worst jokes I’ve ever told.

    1. David Osborne says:

      Excellent work Peter, and I sincerely hope so…

  4. Jean says:

    I’ve had this score since 2004, or so, and I have been a fan of the composer ever since. But the score wins my technical abilities…

  5. David Osborne says:

    Good piece (if a little angry), but I must say the score has made me realise that carrying accidentals through to the end of the bar is a really good idea.


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