Were composers freer in Russia than in the West?main
From the latest Lebrecht Album of the Week, a 5-star:
In the dying years of the Soviet Union, I became aware of dozens of symphonists who survived on the fringes of musical society, tolerated by the authorities but never given a proper hearing. Once I got past the immense, historic figures of Mieczyslaw Weinberg and Galina Ustvolskaya, both pivotal in the life of Dmitri Shostakovich, I kept discovering other samizdat composers who, for some reason, seemed to speak my language. At a time when western musicians were subjected to a dictatorship of style and serial ideology if they wanted to get on the BBC, these covert Russians were free to write as they pleased….
Read on here.
Portrait by Tatyana Apraksina