Not all persecuted composers are equal

From the Lebrecht Album of the Week:

Every composer suppressed by Stalin deserves to be remembered. Just how much musical attention they warrant is another matter.

Alexander Veprik (1889-1958) was a teacher at the Moscow Conservatoire who wrote in Jewish and Kyrgyz ‘national’ idioms. His Dances and Songs from the Ghetto was performed by Toscanini at Carnegie Hall in 1933, and a Symphonic Song was taken up the following year by Hermann Scherchen and Dmitri Mitropoulos. This was the peak of Veprik’s career….

Read on here.

And here.


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  • Mr Lebrecht, your review mentions that 66 composers were suppressed or exiled under Stalinism. Is there a list to which you could provide a link? Many thanks in advance.

  • Thank you Norman for giving a platform to Alexander Veprik. He shares the fate of many others who after their ordeal of the Gulag were silenced and completely forgotten. I strongly believe in the expressive quality of his music, and the important thing is that his music can be heard again.

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