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Thread: Soundtrack for Invasion of the Ukraine

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    Default Soundtrack for Invasion of the Ukraine

    Ahh, just like the good ol' days, when Czechoslovakia was invaded by Russia back in the '70's!

    I'm choosing as my accompaniment to this spectacle of naked aggression the mammoth Prokofiev Sixth Sonata, played by Evgeny "Genya" Kissin from the RCA 2-CD Carnegie Hall Debut Concert.
    This 4-movement sonata is referred to as the first of three "war sonatas, although, according to Kissin, this subtitle is misleading.

    "The Sixth Sonata was written in 1939, before the war, so the experience Prokofiev portrays is that of the period of Stalinist repression, the "cult of personality. He truly captures this in the bitter, pompous opening theme of the first movement, a sort of "Stalin leitmotif," which returns in the finale. The second movement is a parody of a military march, full of Prokofiev's veiled humor, sarcasm, and mischief. In the third movement Prokofiev proves himself Rachmaninoff's equal in his ability to "sing the Russian nature" with irresistible lyricism, and the middle section evokes the spirit of old Russian legends. The finale is truly a "big sarcasm," and in the middle section Prokofiev recalls the "Stalin leitmotif," giving it a completely different, ominous character, and inserting additional thematic material to create a premonition of impending doom."

    The descending chords at the end, are, indeed, sinister sounding. I love this part. The "Stalin leitmotif" is just that: more of a fragment than a theme. Upon listening in a half-asleep state, as I often end-up in, the motif seems to be like a claw, or hook. Its simple descending shape of three notes is like a claw taking something away. I often have these kinds of irrational associations when I listen. A claw seems to be an appropriate symbol, the claw of Putin's brute force taking away the freedom of the Ukraine.
    Last edited by millionrainbows; Mar-08-2014 at 19:00.

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    Senior Member SiegendesLicht's Avatar
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    I'll just get popcorn ready and wait for Sharik
    ... yet for us will still remain the holy German art... (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg)
    ***
    God gave all men all earth to love,
    But since our hearts are small,
    Ordained for each one spot should prove
    Beloved over all.
    R. Kipling

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    Senior Member Serge's Avatar
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    Why, that The Apocalypse Now Wagner piece, of course.

    And nobody invaded Ukraine, just to make it clear, but the Russians are back in Crimea.

    Welcome.
    Last edited by Serge; Mar-08-2014 at 19:09.
    When I hear John Cage’s 4’33”, I reach for my earplugs.

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    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serge View Post
    And nobody invaded Ukraine, just to make it clear, but the Russians are back in Crimea.
    Uh...Crimea is part of Ukraine, courtesy of Nikita Khrushchev. Even on Russian maps (for another few days anyway).

    But the soundtrack should really be from Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf...the wolf part. Or maybe the set of variations from the first movement of DSCH's 7th Symphony?
    Last edited by KenOC; Mar-08-2014 at 19:15.


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    Senior Member Kieran's Avatar
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    Well, nothing triumphant would do, obviously. I thought a kinda bluesy soundtrack, Blind Willie Johnson maybe, Dark was the Night, or Lord, I Just Can't Keep from Crying...
    The Brain - is wider than the Sky

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    Senior Member Serge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenOC View Post
    Uh...Crimea is part of Ukraine, courtesy of Nikita Khrushchev. Even on Russian maps (for another few days anyway).
    Yes, and Khrushchev was a Ukrainian. So it's like Ukraine gifting itself with a part of Russia and this is somehow a legit? Is that what you are saying?

    Forget Crimea, dude!
    When I hear John Cage’s 4’33”, I reach for my earplugs.

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    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serge View Post
    Yes, and Khrushchev was a Ukrainian. So it's like Ukraine gifting itself with a part of Russia and this is somehow a legit? Is that what you are saying?
    Legit so far as I know. I assume it was fully in accord with the laws of the Soviet Union and received all necessary approvals from a country that was, after all, dominated by the Russian SSR. If you're heard otherwise, feel free to correct me.


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    Those interested in the older history of Crimea might want to read up on the Crimean tatars & their return under Ukrainian rule

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimean_Tatars

    includes statistical maps.

    I must say that I don´t really associate these recent tragic events with one or more pieces of music - they are too emotional for that.
    Last edited by joen_cph; Mar-08-2014 at 19:35.

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    Senior Member Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serge View Post
    Yes, and Khrushchev was a Ukrainian. So it's like Ukraine gifting itself with a part of Russia and this is somehow a legit? Is that what you are saying?

    Forget Crimea, dude!
    Unfortunately, the last part of this is correct. Crimea has been stolen by the tyrant Putin. I think even sad music can't make this horrible fact drift away. The rest of the former USSR will be scared to sneeze now, in case Putin decides to "liberate them..."
    The Brain - is wider than the Sky

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    Senior Member Piwikiwi's Avatar
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    The British and the French should have just annexed it in the 1850's

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    Quote Originally Posted by joen_cph View Post
    I must say that I don´t really associate these recent tragic events with one or more pieces of music - they are too emotional for that.
    Well, it will be out on DVD sooner or later, and we'll need some soundtrack music. Maybe Danny Elfman?

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    Senior Member SiegendesLicht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Piwikiwi View Post
    The British and the French should have just annexed it in the 1850's
    Good idea. The place would be much cleaner and better maintained in this case.
    ... yet for us will still remain the holy German art... (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg)
    ***
    God gave all men all earth to love,
    But since our hearts are small,
    Ordained for each one spot should prove
    Beloved over all.
    R. Kipling

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    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    BTW Khrushchev was a piker. From Wiki:



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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post

    [/I][/B]This 4-movement sonata is referred to as the first of three "war sonatas, although, according to Kissin, this subtitle is misleading.

    "The Sixth Sonata was written in 1939, before the war, so the experience Prokofiev portrays is that of the period of Stalinist repression, the "cult of personality. He truly captures this in the bitter, pompous opening theme of the first movement, a sort of "Stalin leitmotif," which returns in the finale. The second movement is a parody of a military march, full of Prokofiev's veiled humor, sarcasm, and mischief. In the third movement Prokofiev proves himself Rachmaninoff's equal in his ability to "sing the Russian nature" with irresistible lyricism, and the middle section evokes the spirit of old Russian legends. The finale is truly a "big sarcasm," and in the middle section Prokofiev recalls the "Stalin leitmotif," giving it a completely different, ominous character, and inserting additional thematic material to create a premonition of impending doom."

    The descending chords at the end, are, indeed, sinister sounding. I love this part. The "Stalin leitmotif" is just that: more of a fragment than a theme. Upon listening in a half-asleep state, as I often end-up in, the motif seems to be like a claw, or hook. Its simple descending shape of three notes is like a claw taking something away. I often have these kinds of irrational associations when I listen. A claw seems to be an appropriate symbol, the claw of Putin's brute force taking away the freedom of the Ukraine.
    Aaaarrgh! Not this Stalin motive thing again. Kissin has been repeating this sort of twaddle for a while now; Insulting to the intelligence and a trivialization of great music. Among the scholars championing this style of interpretation are Daniel Jaffé, in his Sergei Prokofiev (London: Phaidon Press, 1998), and Ian MacDonald (The New Shostakovich, Northeastern University Press, 1990). Both were inspired by Testimony, the largely discredited work of Solomon Volkov which was published as the memoirs of Dmitri Shostakovich (New York, Harper & Row, 1979). The authenticity of Testimony was challenged and an indictment of fraud leveled within a year of its publication. (See Laurel Fay, "Shostakovich versus Volkov: Whose Testimony?", Russian Review 39, no. 4 (1980): 488-93.) MacDonald's work on Shostakovich has been scathingly critiqued by Richard Taruskin (“Public Lies and Unspeakable Truth: Interpreting Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony,” in Shostakovich Studies, ed. David Fanning, 17-53, Cambridge University Press, 1995). Jaffe's interpretation of one work of Prokofiev was recently addressed in Gregory Karl's "Afterlife of an Archetype: Prokofiev and the Art of Subversion," (in Music and Narrative since 1900, ed Michael Klein and Nicholas Reyland, Indiana University Press (2013): 362-80.

    In case this wasn't clear from the above, Kissin's tendency to hear "Stalin motives" everywhere is based on some very bad and perhaps willfully fraudulent research.
    Last edited by EdwardBast; Mar-08-2014 at 20:55.

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    Senior Member Blancrocher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardBast View Post
    Both were inspired by Testimony, the largely discredited work of Solomon Volkov which was published as the memoirs of Dmitri Shostakovich (New York, Harper & Row, 1979). The authenticity of Testimony was challenged and an indictment of fraud leveled within a year of its publication. (See Laurel Fay, "Shostakovich versus Volkov: Whose Testimony?", Russian Review 39, no. 4 (1980): 488-93.)
    Despite the fact that it's a pack of lies, I'd still recommend Testimony as an introduction to Shosty's music, life, and times to those who might be interested. It's well written and persuasive (to me) about many fundamentals despite all the shortcomings mentioned by scholars.

    I can't help but like Volkov and share his enthusiasm when I read him--even if he is a cad

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