For the third year running, the Classics a Day team chose to honor May Day. For the month of May, Soviet musicians are the theme. Last year I posted music by Soviet prize-winners. 

This time, I’m simply walking my way through the alphabet (Latin, not Cyrillic). The music I discovered proved anything but ordinary. Here are my posts for the fourth week of #SovietaDay.

5/20/19 German Okunev (1931-1973) – Ballet “The Overcoat”

Okunev was working on The Overcoat when he died from injuries after an auto accident. V. Sapozhnikov completed and orchestrated the score from his sketches.


5/21/19 Aleksandra Pakhmutova (1929-) – Trumpet Concerto Dokshizer

Pakhmutova began as a classical composer but soon transitioned into popular music. She’s one of Russia’s best-known songwriters and named a Hero of Socialist Labour.


5/22/19 Nikolai Rakov (1908-1990) – Symphony No. 3 for String Orchestra “Little Symphony”

This 1962 work is one of four symphonies Rakov completed. While his music seems in line with Soviet doctrine, there’s always an element of irony just below the surface.


5/23/19 Vadim Salmanov (1912-1978) – String Quartet No. 1

Salmanov held several music-related political positions. His catalog includes six string quartets, four symphonies, and two violin concertos.


5/24/19 Semyon Tchernetsky (1881-1950) – The Red Army’s Entry to Budapest

Major General Tchernetsky may well be the Soviet Sousa. He founded the modern Russian military bands and most of his compositions are, of course, marches.