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The People's ArtistProkofiev's Soviet Years$
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Simon Morrison

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195181678

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195181678.001.0001

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Seeking the Formula, 1938–1939

Seeking the Formula, 1938–1939

(p.79) 2 Seeking the Formula, 1938–1939
The People's Artist

Simon Morrison

Oxford University Press

This chapter chronicles Prokofiev's activities from the spring of 1938 to the winter of 1939, a period that witnessed the loss of his ability to travel abroad, the arrest (at the height of the Stalinist purges) of his mentor Vsevolod Meyerhold, his embrace of the aesthetic of Socialist Realism in his opera Semyon Kotko, and his composition of a cantata in honor of Stalin's sixtieth birthday for Soviet Radio (the signing of the Molotov-Rippentrop non-aggression pact in 1939 necessitated a rewriting of the libretto of Semyon Kotko). Beyond these conformist works, the chapter also discusses Prokofiev's unknown music for athletic display.

Keywords:   Purges, Meyerhold, Socialist Realism, Semyon Kotko, Soviet Radio, conformism, Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, rewriting, unknown music, athletic display

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