Recovering the silenced Soviet composers

The Lebrecht Album of the Week featured lost music by composers who were oppressed by the Nazis.

The pianist Vladimir Feltsman is working on retrieving the lost composers of Stalin’s Russia. ‘They are not known because they never emigrated from Stalin’s Russia,’ he says.

Who, for instance, remembers Sergei Protopopov?

Watch Feltsman discussed the lost Soviet generations.

The interview takes place around a PostClassical Ensemble concert and is conducted by PCE executive director, Joseph Horowitz.

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  • I’m looking at works of Valery Zhelobinsky at this very moment. He was quite an impressive composer. There is much more to explore in this vein.

  • The rule of thumb for Soviet-era composers seems to that the more we can construct an anti-communist narrative for them (even if they stayed), the more well-known and well-received they are in the West.

  • How does the success of Aram Khachaturian’s music fit into this theory? He was also persecuted by Stalin, but didn’t emigrate.

    Shostakovitch didn’t emigrate. Prokofiev did, but he returned.

    Nu?

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