Cover Osteuropa 7/2010

In Osteuropa 7/2010

Ideology and Autonomy
Mieczysław Weinberg’s String Quartets

Friedrich Geiger

Deutsche Fassung


The string quartet stood in diametric opposition to the ideological precepts of Soviet socialist realism: It was considered the epitome of bourgeois musical culture, an elite art for connoisseurs. Due to the intimacy of the genre, it was not suitable for the masses, its tradition as a place of compositional experimentation and artistic self-exploration placed it a priori in the vicinity of “subjectivism” and “formalism”. The composition of string quartets was therefore a balancing act for Soviet composers. Weinberg created 17 string quartets. He found an equilibri-um between ideological demands and genre-specific tradition. The transformations of ideology in art are reflected in the changing emphasis.

(Osteuropa 7/2010, pp. 93–110)