This book investigates the place of music in Soviet society during the eras of Lenin and Stalin. It examines the different strategies adopted by composers and musicians in their attempts to carve out careers in a rapidly evolving society, discusses the role of music in Soviet society and people's lives, and shows how political ideology proved an inspiration as well as an inhibition. It explores how music and politics interacted in the lives of two of the twentieth century's greatest composers - Shostakovich and Prokofiev - and also in the lives of less well-known composers. In addition it considers the specialist composers of early Soviet musical propaganda, amateur music making, and musical life in the non-Russian republics. The book will appeal to specialists in Soviet music history, those with an interest in twentieth century music in general, and also to students of the history, culture and politics of the Soviet Union.
Neil Edmunds is Senior Lecturer in Modern European History at the University of West of England, Bristol. He is author of The Soviet Proletarian Music Movement (Peter Lang, 2000), and his articles on early Soviet musical life have appeared in numerous journals, including Slavonic and East European Review, Tempo, and Muziek en Wetenschap.
'Any book that contains such a wealth of fresh research makes itself instantly indispensable to scholars working in its field, and Edmund's unprecendented drawing together of scholars from a wide range of diciplines has produced an extremely stimulating study.' - SEER
'The unique strength of this anthology is its attention to musical life beyond the Russian heartland ... Rouland moves beyond facile stereotypes.' - Slavic Review