Art (1935 – 1973)
Reproductions of paintings by K. Petrov-Vodkin, K. Yuon, A. Plastov, A. Gerasimov, A. Deyneka, P. Konchalovsky, A. Samokhvalov, A. Volkov, P. Sokolov-Skalia, Yu. Pimenov, S. Chuykov, A. Lutfullin, Tkachev brothers, O. Bogaevskaya, E. Belyutin, V. Korzhev and other Soviet artists from the collection of the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg.
Poetry (1940 – 1960)
Poems of A. Tvardovsky, B. Pasternak, K. Simonov and other Soviet poets of 1940-1950s are performed by Anna Kovalchuk.
The Great Patriotic War left a deep trace in the “academic” art of our country. Harsh sketches of burnt towns and villages; days of war and portraits of simple soldiers who paid dearly for this victory; monumental pictures of dramatic battles… For a long time, the military theme retained the power over Soviet artists, forcing them again and again to return to the fatal 40s…
Peaceful labor, restoration and creation, spring breath of a new life – these themes dominated in the canvases of Soviet artists since the late 1940s. Despite the rigid doctrine of “socialist realism”, the paintings are more and more filled with human warmth. Perhaps the most popular among painters is the “theme of childhood” – small joyful children look at us from the paintings, and their life will never be burnt.
The beginning of the “Thaw period” (Ottepel) gives bright seedlings in painting – a group of artists develops the principles of the “austere style”. Using sharp lines and color contrasts, the artists reproduce generalized portraits of their contemporaries. Workers, sailors, builders, geologists look at us from the paintings; they are courageous and strong, since they faced the most difficult challenges in the history of our country.
The Apotheosis of War – that could be a description of Symphony No. 8 by Dmitry Shostakovich, completed in 1943. Subsequent to famous Symphony No. 7 (Leningradskaya), Symphony No. 8 was unexpectedly challenging and was criticized by authorities for its pessimism.
Shostakovich wrote that the symphony is “about the man who is deafened by the hammer of war… his path is not filled with roses and he is not accompanied by drummers…” The war as an absolute evil which should not exist in the world – that is the meaning of the second part of the Symphony, fast grotesque march with loud, noisy orchestra performance.
The same year, Gavriil Popov wrote his “Rodina” (Motherland) Symphony. The composer was one of the brightest representatives of the Soviet avant-garde of 1920s, and wrote the music to the legendary film “Chapaev”. The “Rodina” symphony, filled with civic enthusiasm, was worthily granted Stalin’s award of the first grade. “It is a wonderful composition which needs high appreciation”, wrote Shostakovich.
Concerto No. 1 for violin and orchestra of Dmitry Kobalevsky, completed in 1948, has a certain attractive effect – its light, exuberant music does not give rise to criticism and was taken by many performers.
The same year, Concerto No. 1 for piano of Gotfried Hasanov was created. He is the first professional composer from Dagestan. He made a huge work to develop the musical culture of Dagestan, and filled the composition with motives and rhythms of his country.
Symphony No. 7 by Sergey Prokofiev was one of his last compositions. It was written upon the order of the child’s editors of the All-Union Radio and is easy to understand for the audience of any age. Prokofiev examines his past life with wise simplicity and light smile…
Spartacus ballet by Aram Khachaturian was completed in early 1954. The idea came to the artist in autumn 1941. However, only ten years later, he got inspired by his trip to Italy. Spartacus ballet was performed in Leningrad and Moscow with a great triumph, and became classics of ballet art of the 20th century. Tragic music of Adagio shows both fineness of feelings and antique restraint – like women of all times wailed over their sons and husbands dead at war.…
Feature film “Time, Forward!” was made in 1965 by Mikhail Schweitzer based on the novel of Valentin Kataev on occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Revolution. Schweitzer dedicated it to the heroes of industrialization; the faith in building new world gave superhuman capabilities, inspiring people to heroism. It is the music of Georgy Sviridov that gives the movie a unique pulse of time, showing a violent and dramatic spirit of life-changing époque…
The soloists: laureates of international contests, permanent participants of the festivals directed by Yuri Bashmet – Anna Samuil (violin) and Ksenia Bashmet (piano).
Poems of the war time authors are presented by the honoured artist of Russia, film and theatre actress Anna Kovalchuk.
Conductor of the “New Russia” Symphony Orchestra– Maestro Yuri Bashmet