View Poll Results: Who wins?

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  • Prokofiev for the win by a lot

    22 19.30%
  • Prokofiev for the win, but barely

    24 21.05%
  • It's a tie / Don't ask me

    28 24.56%
  • Shostakovich for the win, but barely

    23 20.18%
  • Shostakovich for the win by a lot

    17 14.91%
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Thread: Shostakovich vs. Prokofiev

  1. #31
    Senior Member Meaghan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sid James View Post
    We have to remember (to be fair) that Shostakovich was "persona non grata" from the "anti-formalist" decree in about 1948 till sometime after Stalin's death in 1953. He made his "bread and butter" from writing for films...
    Oh, I don't blame him for it, I know he looks worried in all his pictures for a reason.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meaghan View Post
    Oh, I don't blame him for it, I know he looks worried in all his pictures for a reason.
    True, true. It kind of seems that if you were in the Soviet orbit, so to speak, you were "damned if you do, damned if you don't" - leave the country, that is, to live elsewhere & get away from the horrible dictatorial regime. Rachmaninov left early in the piece, but kind of found that, without contact with his "home soil" a lot of his inspiration dried up (he only produced a handful of major works in his post-Russian period - although they were all excellent, imo). As for Prokofiev, he did leave, then was drawn back - & the time he returned was the Stalinist purges - "nice" time to come back, hey? As for Shostakovich, an acquaintance of mine studying his life at University said that he did travel to the UK and USA after WW2, but the party made it clear to him that if he failed to return, his extended family (relatives, etc.) would not be safe without him there. These guys were subjected to the worse things like that, blackmail among them, it's a wonder they survived with some dignity intact & produced the wonderful music that they did, given those difficult circumstances...

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  4. #33
    Moderator Huilunsoittaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meaghan View Post
    Memorable, I don't know, but he sure did churn out those communist propaganda film scores like sausages. I saw a little bit of one once - a happy couple was frolicking through a factory and then some old man gave them kittens. With almost unrecognizably cheery Shostakovich playing in the background.
    Unrecognizably cheery indeed! That's what I love about him. You never know when it's sincere or not. So I say it's all.


    On the side, do any of you here find that it's hard to appreciate "Socialist" composers, especially Shostakovich (Prokofiev can't count), because of the implications of their music? Or, do you ignore it easily?
    "Music is an art, and art is forever. Music should not succumb to fashion, which is passing and forgotten."
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  5. #34
    Senior Member GoneBaroque's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huilunsoittaja View Post
    On the side, do any of you here find that it's hard to appreciate "Socialist" composers, especially Shostakovich (Prokofiev can't count), because of the implications of their music? Or, do you ignore it easily?
    The composer's ideology is of no concern; likewise the artist. The quality of the music is what matters to me.

    Rob

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  7. #35
    Senior Member TxllxT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by znmeb View Post
    Symphonies: Shostakovich by ten lengths
    String Quartets: Shostakovich by ten lengths
    Cello solo works: Shostakovich by a head (Concerto #1)
    Violin solo works: Shostakovich by a head (Concerto #1)
    Piano concerti: Prokofiev by ten lengths
    Operas: Prokofiev Love for Three Oranges by two lengths over Lady Macbeth
    Ballet: Dead heat (Age of Gold vs. Romeo and Juliet)
    Other chamber works: Shostakovich by a few lengths (Piano Quintet, 2nd Piano trio, Preludes and Fugues)
    Film scores: Prokofiev by ten lengths - did Shostakovich write *any* memorable film scores?
    Miscellany: Prokofiev by a length for Peter and the Wolf

    Final decision: Shostakovich by a length
    Strange, I find Age of Gold not a ballet at all, so heartless & without something to dance on. From Age of Gold I like Rozdestvensky's morning gymnastics: a military drill indeed! Prokofiev also wrote Cinderella and The Stone Flower, ballets just as hot and original (no derivate) as Romeo & Juliet. So what 'dead heat'? : Prokofiev by more than a length.

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  9. #36
    Senior Member regressivetransphobe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huilunsoittaja View Post
    On the side, do any of you here find that it's hard to appreciate "Socialist" composers...? Or, do you ignore it easily?
    I prefer it
    People who hide are afraid!

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  11. #37
    Senior Member TxllxT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huilunsoittaja View Post
    On the side, do any of you here find that it's hard to appreciate "Socialist" composers, especially Shostakovich (Prokofiev can't count), because of the implications of their music? Or, do you ignore it easily?

    There exists a photo of Shostakovich with jampots being portrayed as firefighter on the roofs of Leningrad during the siege: all propaganda stuff. Shostakovich always has led a comfortable life. Just when you look sideways to the suffering and starvation of the other 'equal' citizens of Leningrad (who were of no use for communist propaganda purposes), you may get an sour&bitter taste in your mouth. The 'equal' citizen Shostakovich happened to be composing music, that helped people to turn away their minds from misery. For Shostakovich it meant earning his daily bread. Only when people start with being compassionate about the 'hardship' this composer had to endure, I see them still being caught in the fishy nets of these clever socialist-society-manipulators.

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  13. #38
    Senior Member Argus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huilunsoittaja View Post
    On the side, do any of you here find that it's hard to appreciate "Socialist" composers, especially Shostakovich (Prokofiev can't count), because of the implications of their music? Or, do you ignore it easily?
    What would these implications be exactly?

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  15. #39
    Moderator Huilunsoittaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Argus View Post
    What would these implications be exactly?
    That communism is somehow beneficial for society, and that the Common Man will prevail over evil?
    "Music is an art, and art is forever. Music should not succumb to fashion, which is passing and forgotten."
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  16. #40
    Senior Member science's Avatar
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    Interesting results. If the poll is reliable, it's essentially a dead heat. Prokofiev has a touch more support overall, but Shostakovich's supporters tend to be more passionate.

  17. #41
    Senior Member Argus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huilunsoittaja View Post
    That communism is somehow beneficial for society, and that the Common Man will prevail over evil?
    You get that from a bunch of abstract sound?

    That's akin to saying the music of Burzum has implications of burning down churches and murdering guitarists. The sounds can be separate from the person behind them.

    Plus, aren't those good messages.

  18. #42
    Moderator Huilunsoittaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by science View Post
    Interesting results. If the poll is reliable, it's essentially a dead heat. Prokofiev has a touch more support overall, but Shostakovich's supporters tend to be more passionate.
    Exactly, that's why it's so bad to pit them against each other. Likely those Shostakovich fanatics are also Mahler fanatics (sadly), so that fervor probably is typical that kind of person.
    "Music is an art, and art is forever. Music should not succumb to fashion, which is passing and forgotten."
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  20. #43
    Senior Member Meaghan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huilunsoittaja View Post
    Exactly, that's why it's so bad to pit them against each other. Likely those Shostakovich fanatics are also Mahler fanatics (sadly), so that fervor probably is typical that kind of person.
    "That kind of person" - Ha!

    http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/G..._Mahler_Effect

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  22. #44
    Senior Member Tapkaara's Avatar
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    I enjoy both composers. Shostakovich was the superior symphonist and probably, just barely, a better all-around composer. I ADORE Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky and Ivan the Terrible score. His ballet music, too. Not the hugest fan of any of his piano concerti. His Second Violin Concerto is superb.

    Shostakovich can be awfully long winded but the material is good. The sens of irony in his work is quite compelling.
    "Music is not philosophy." --Akira Ifukube

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  24. #45
    Moderator Huilunsoittaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Argus View Post
    You get that from a bunch of abstract sound?

    That's akin to saying the music of Burzum has implications of burning down churches and murdering guitarists. The sounds can be separate from the person behind them.
    Those pieces that Shostakovich, they had names, they had programs, things were read while the music was being played. Big example is the Symphony No. 12 "In Memory of the year 1917", which is actually looked down upon today for being way too communist. But I love it because it's beautiful, not that it worships Lenin. That programmatic context is something I have to put down in my mind though.

    I don't listen to Shostakovich's music thinking about how good communism sounds.

    Plus, aren't those good messages
    That's a discussion I won't get into here at all. I will say nothing further.
    "Music is an art, and art is forever. Music should not succumb to fashion, which is passing and forgotten."
    Glazunov


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