Back in the U.S.S.R
“Back in the U.S.S.R.” will begin with music that was written to cater to the oppressive censors of Stalin’s era – overt propaganda intended to rally audiences in support of the Soviet government and a mythical ideal of the Soviet people and history. Repertoire from this section of the concert will include half of Shostakovich's Ten Songs on Poems of 19th-Century Revolutionary Poets, op. 88, and excerpts from Prokofiev's Stalin Prize winning oratorio, On Guard for Peace.
The end will include music like Veljo Tormis's Curse Upon Iron and Arvo Pärt’s Credo of 1968, in which Pärt uses Bach’s C-major prelude (representing Western capitalism) and compares it with 12-tone composition (representing Communism—every note is created equal!). Gradually, the 12-tone composition breaks down completely, with the singers shouting, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth!” until the only thing left standing is Bach, C major, and the West.
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