For May 2018, some of us contributing to #ClassicsaDay decided to mark May Day. Reason enough to post works by Soviet composers. I decided to go a little farther with my #SovietaDay posts and concentrate on Soviet prize winners.
Here are the posts I shared for week 5.
Jovdat Hajiyev (1917-2002): For Peace, symphonic poem
Hajiyev was a student of Shostakovich and has the distinction of being the first Azerbaijani to write a symphony. Primarily known for his large orchestral works, his symphonic poem “For Peace” garnered his second Stalin Prize in 1952.
Dmitri Kabalevsky (1900-1987): Violin Concerto in C major, Op. 48
Kabalevsky wrote three concertos dedicated to Soviet Youth. This concerto was the first of that series. It was awarded the Stalin Prize in 1949.
Gavriil Nikolayevich Popov (1904-1972): Symphony No. 2, Op. 39 “Motherland”
In 1936 Popov’s First Symphony was banned before it could be performed. Popov wrote his second symphony to embody “the people’s soul” and to get back into the good graces of the authorities. It succeeded on both counts. It won the Stalin Prize in 1946.
Nikolai Myaskovsky (1880-1950) – String Quartet No. 13 in A minor, Op. 86
Myaskovsky was one of the composers who was called out by the 1947 Zhdanov Decree for writing anti-Soviet formalist music. He refused to be a part of the proceedings, or issue any statement of repentance. Mysaskovsky died of cancer in 1950. He was rehabilitated posthumously. His final string quartet and symphony were awarded Stalin Prizes in 1951.