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May Day Symphony

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  #11  
Old 08-05-12, 08:25 AM
Liberty Liberty is offline
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Perhaps you'd like to tell us all how things are there in Russia after the recent 'changing of the guard' (not).
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Old 08-05-12, 09:30 AM
ReinerTorheit ReinerTorheit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liberty View Post
Perhaps you'd like to tell us all how things are there in Russia after the recent 'changing of the guard' (not).
I think it would be better to start a separate discussion about that, and keep this one focussed on Shostakovich's symphonies
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Old 08-05-12, 09:55 AM
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Apologies. Please do.
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Old 08-05-12, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReinerTorheit View Post
"E=Mambo;44770]
Now how did we get off this Third Symphony, which is quite
specific. Unless i can find a (general) group of people who would like
to analyse it in more detail...
"

In the USSR, and in Russia today, the 1st May is a dual holiday. It not only celebrates labour and human achievement - it was a Spring Holiday for many years earlier than that, and the 1st May Parade included both of these elements.

I hear both of them in the symphony, too. Clearly he must have had Beethoven 9 in mind for the choral finale, although the verses he sets are weak by comparison. However, they contain a warning that "as you burn the old and decrepit, you must build something new & better". It's a text that was very apposite for its time... people were growing tired of promises of a new life in the USSR - they wanted to see it actually coming about in reality.[/QUOTE]

This is great. I knew that May Day was quite significant for the
Russians, and i believe for many Europeans nearby - my uncle
(who was German) used to bring up May Day every year.
If you speak Russian, Reiner, you probably have a much better
insight on how Russians feel about May Day, as you just noted.
The Third was originally meant to be a propaganda piece -
which is possibly why the American premiere in Philadelphia
left out the choral part. It's only a guess. Also, enough singers
able to do it in Russian may not have been available.

The choral part is only about 5 minutes, so putting the propaganda
aside, the Third is really stunning from the musical sense.
How many different melodic themes are in it - i have never tried
to count. And the brilliant orchestrations - Shostakovich was only
23 years old when he did it. If someone wants to learn orchestration,
i could suggest a look at this score.

If someone wants to stray into Soviet and Russian politics, maybe this thread is a good starter. But i'll leave such a wide and varied
subject to those more expert.
I often wonder how many Russians read some of these posts.
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Old 08-05-12, 04:25 PM
ReinerTorheit ReinerTorheit is offline
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On the topic of May Parades, it's worth mentioning that there are two in Russia, and they often get confused.

The BIG parade is not the one on May 1st. It's held tomorrow, on May 9th, and celebrates the victory of the Allied Forces in WW2 in Europe. In Europe this is usually called VE-Day (Victory Europe Day) and marked on May 8th. But the capitulation of the Third Reich was signed near to midnight on May 8th... and with the time-difference it was already May 9th in the USSR. That's why Russians mark the event on May 9th. The May 9th Parade is exclusively a military event, and doesn't mark Labour, Spring, Women's Rights, or anything else!

The May 1st Parade has now mostly been discontinued, as it was associated with Communism and other activities for which few people in Russia have any appetite for these days
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Old 08-05-12, 05:21 PM
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Thanks Reiner for the first hand info.
Now if we could get into Putin's psyche for his thoughts
on Communism, totalitarianism, and other '-isms'.
George Bush saw "kindness behind the eyes"
(pardon the political diversion)
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