Cover Osteuropa 8/2006

In Osteuropa 8/2006

“I Never Loved You, You Gods!”
Shostakovich and Proletarian Music

Levon Hakobian

Deutsche Fassung


Shostakovich’s contacts to proletarian music of the 1920s are expressed in the 2nd Symphony for the tenth anniversary of the October Revolution. His disparaging remarks regarding “easy” music are also in tune with the ideology of the cult of the proletariat. At the same time, he despised the music of proletarian composers and was relieved, when, in 1932, their union RAMP was disbanded. Twenty-five years later, he again turned to the aesthetic of “proletarian” music in the 11th Symphony. In addition, he worked on two choral works by the leading “proletarian” composer Aleksandr Davidenko. Presumably, the interest the mature Shostakovich showed for this music from which he had distanced himself earlier is a reevaluation of ideological values typical for many intellectuals during the Thaw under Nikita Khrushchev.

(Osteuropa 8/2006, pp. 109–118)