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The Year 1948 in Soviet Music

A lecture delivered by Gresham College

In the aftermath of the Soviet war victory, ideological control was tightened again, contrary to expectations. The six leading Soviet composers (including Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Myaskovsky and Khachaturian) were censured and humiliated by a Party Resolution against 'formalism'.

This is a story of necessary retreat and compromise, but also of resilience and survival, when even under great pressure, composers produced works of deep lyricism and humanity.

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