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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
the only positive thing to come out of Stalinism? I know this sounds horrible, but how much of the popularity and accessibility of Prokofiev and (especially) Shostakovich came about as a consequence of them being afraid for their life and writing to order? Would Shostakovich have written what he did and how he did if he was not under duress? Don't forget, Shostakovich was a full 15 years younger than Prokofiev, and if his music from the 1920s is anything to go by he was NOT heading in the direction he ultimate went. Prokofiev was always a bit more conservative (due to being older), yet he lived in the West and wrote some quite modernistic and percussive pieces before returning to the U.S.S.R. I think he may actually have had more conservative inclinations to begin with, but I wonder if Peter and the Wolf or Cinderella or Romeo and Juliet would be as tuneful if he wasn't under the gun.

Imagine if the 3rd Reich had lasted as long and a German composer of similar stature had stayed (unlike Hindemith). We would be faced with the same dilemma. Should we feel guilty for this? Your thoughts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So, the answer to the question: "Should we feel guilty about listening and enjoying it?" is a qualified "No". Not that I would have stopped listening to them if you had said "yes" anyway. :)I was just curious what anyone else thought about it.
 
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