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Russian and Soviet Music

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Author Topic: Russian and Soviet Music  (Read 9590 times)
Neil McGowan
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« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2012, 03:12:21 pm »

I miss a sort of clear intention, an inner drive within the music. It somehow starts, takes a while, some things may happen but when it's over I fail to remember much of it

I recognise that feeling very well Smiley

He's clearly a well-schooled composer, and he has the technical facility at his disposal to write well - his orchestration is imagninative. But he appears to have lost the creative spark that enlivened his early work... as though he's just 'going through the motions'?  The score for LOLITA is very peculiar in that regard. Apparently he wrote the second act much later than the first, having put it in a drawer for a while in the interim. A completely different style dominates in the second act, and it appears to be going nowhere.

I wonder if it is too fanciful to imagine that he was brought up and trained during the soviet period - which then rapidly and rather unexpectedly ended, leaving him unequipped to write for a post-soviet age?  Or perhaps just unsure what kind of music that age might want or need?  I'm reminded of the hero of Viktor Pelevin's novel "Generation P" [mysteriously released under different titles in English translation, where it's been called both "Homo Zapiens" (Penguin) and "Babylon" (Faber & Faber). The "P" in the title stands for "Pepsi" - the text tells us explicitly - so I can't understand why that title couldn't be used?]. "Vavilen Tatarsky" is trained and schooled from his earliest years in the finest elite soviet schools and universities as a "Soviet Poet". On the day of his graduation from University, the Soviet Union falls to pieces, and he is a Soviet Poet without a Soviet Union to write for. Thus begins his nightmarish journey....

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