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Donald Macleod introduces Shostakovich's ballet The Golden Age, plus his doomed contemporary Gavriil Popov's First Symphony.

Donald Macleod explores Shostakovich's brilliant youth - and the work of five extraordinary lost musical souls - amidst the turmoil and extraordinary originality of 1920s Russia.

In the final episode of the week, Donald Macleod looks at how the musical freedoms of the 1920s were slowly and surely crushed by the totalitarian state...a time when Shostakovich, somewhat ironically, composed a new ballet entitled "The Golden Age"...as well as finishing off someone else's opera for them!

Donald's last 'guest composer' of the week is the long-forgotten contemporary of Shostakovich Gavri'il Popov, whose epic, kaleidoscopic First Symphony is perhaps the most original Russian work of the entire decade - and a lasting influence on later modernist composers like Schnittke.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Dmitry Shostakovich

    Finale to Erwin Dressel's Opera "Poor Columbus", Op.23 (1929)

    Performer: USSR Ministry of Culture Symphony Orchestra / Gennady Rozhdestvensky

    • MELODIYA - 74321634612.
  • Dmitry Shostakovich

    Six Romances On Texts By Japanese Poets, Op.21 (1928-32) [excerpts]

    Performer: Ilya Levinsky (tenor) Performer: Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra / Neeme Järvi

    • DEUTCHE GRAMMOPHON 4470852.
  • Dmitry Shostakovich

    Gavriil Popov: Symphony no.1, Op.7 [excerpt]

    Performer: Moscow State Symphony Orchestra / Gennady Provatorov

    • OLYMPIA OCD 576.
    • 1.
  • Dmitry Shostakovich

    Suite from The Golden Age, for orchestra, Op.22 (1929-30)

    Performer: Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra - Neeme Järvi

    • DECCA 4757431.

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