Modernism_in_Russia_and_Eastern_Europe

Modernism_in_Russia_and_Eastern_Europe - Modernism...

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Modernism 03/12/2009 23:21:00 Modernism in Russia and Eastern Europe Chapter 35 Events in Russia and Eastern Europe during the first part of the 20 th Century had a profound effect on western culture. The Russian Revolution leads to the establishment of the Communist Soviet Union in 1922. This led to the Cold War which dominated Western Foreign policy for decades. A great deal of WWII was fought on the Eastern Front. 80% of soldiers killed died on the Russian front. About 11 million Russians and 5 million Germans. Civilian Casualties also outnumbered those in the west. In Russia the dead due to war, famine and government purges is estimated to be between 30 and 40 million. These events affected EVERYBODY at all levels of society. For artists working under the regime of Joseph Stalin, conditions were difficult. During the 20’s and 30’s wealth was confiscatd from the well to do and redistributed. Anything that was considered “elitest” was suspect. The government demanded that all should b easily understood and enjoyed by the masses. Most composers and artists of the time were on a list of those considered “subversives” particularly composers who used atonal or 12 tone styles. The government demanded music that were patriotic, in which hymns were sung to the fatherland. Basically music that furthered the agenda of communism. If you were a composer and your music was labeled “formalist” it was like getting a death sentence.
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The challenge to the composer was to be true to ones artistic vision but remain alive. Sergey Prokofiev 1891-1953
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