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I don't know how bad Prokofiev and Shostakovich had it under the Soviet regime. Certainly they were far better off than the millions who perished from famine or state terrorism. As the USSR's two most important composers they seemed to live comfortably and despite an occasional reminder from Stalin to let them know who was in charge, Prokofiev and Shostakovich seemed to be able to compose what they wanted to compose and have it premiered and recorded as soon as the ink was dry. Perhaps few American composers who were beholden to the limitations that supply and demand capitalism places upon the artist had it as good. While Prokofiev was a practical and pragmatic man who was an expert chess player, his music exemplifies the work of a great craftsman and an optimist who brings us into a dreamlike state in Cinderella; or dazzles us with the athletic Violin Concerto #1, or seamlessly blends the joy of Haydn with the Modern approach in Classical Symphony. But Shostakovich was a more sensitive, anxious, and melancholy man who couldn't be happy as long as he knew there was suffering in the world, and most of all such suffering in his beloved Mother Russia. All-in-all I think that Prokofiev and Shostakovich left us with a body of work that demonstrates more-or-less who they were.
 
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