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Classics for the MassesShaping Soviet Musical Identity under Lenin and Stalin$
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Pauline Fairclough

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780300217193

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300217193.001.0001

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Cultural Revolution, Repertoire Politics and the Classics

Cultural Revolution, Repertoire Politics and the Classics

(p.75) Chapter Two Cultural Revolution, Repertoire Politics and the Classics
Classics for the Masses

Pauline Fairclough

Yale University Press

This chapter examines repertoire politics during the ‘Great Break’, also known as the ‘Great Turning Point’, which was announced as a formal change of direction in Soviet economics in 1929 and marked the end of the New Economic Policy (NEP). The impact of NEP on cultural life is often discussed in terms of the more aggressive ‘cultural revolution as class war’ period coinciding with the First Five-Year Plan (1928–1932). Soviet music during this period found itself in a seemingly paradoxical situation: artists wholly devoted to the communist cause became divided along lines of avant-garde versus ‘proletarian’ art. This chapter considers the efforts of Lev Lebedinskiy and other members of RAPM (Russian association of proletarian musicians) to compose new music for the masses during the Cultural Revolution. It also looks at the Leningrad Philharmonia's repertoire between 1929 and 1932 and its initiatives to provide educational concerts for workers, along with RAPM's campaign against the surviving remnants of church music.

Keywords:   repertoire, Great Break, cultural life, Soviet music, Lev Lebedinskiy, RAPM, Cultural Revolution, Leningrad Philharmonia, concerts, church music

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