- Accessible melody&harmony = popular
- Ambiguous ending = joyful/triumphant?
- 1917 - Russian Revolution - Storming of Winter Palace
- Non-Russian music ONLY Beethoven approved
- E.g His 5th Symphony = easily understandable
- Shows heroic struggle -
- DARKNESS ---> VICTORY!
- Parody not allowed - seen as offensive to those in charge.
- 1930 - Artistic Freedom came to an END.
- Great Terror began = social realism
- Only accepted art = Simple & Patriotic
1 of 5
- Opening 'Ta-Da' rhythm = link to Beethoven's 9th (Also in D Minor)
- Constant dead-ends to melodic ideas leading to simple motive of of note repeated 3 times.
- Fate knocking at door - more terrifying than Beethoven's 5th Symphony.
- S often flattens second degree of scale (E-Eb)
- Haunting, twisted quality changing from what audience knows to what S is feeling.
- Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture = one source for military music.
- Unison at recap could be that all are suffering the same.
2 of 5
- Influences by Mahler - use of parody. Comedy film music.
- Trying to dance, illustrating heavy footed peasants, laghter, ballet & military.
- Laughter theme crushed by using diminution.
- 1924 death of Lenin, Stalin takes over.
- Leaves Shostakovich alone, seeing him as composer of tuneful film music & had sentinmental attachment to one song he wrote.
- Lady Macbeth described - Cacophoy - not music and not Social Realism.
- Too steamy, trombone glissandi were censored.
3 of 5
- Requiem for suffering of all victims.
- Uses traditions of Russian Orthodox church - e.g Old Russian national anthem (1812)
- Repeated note like intoning.
- Unison passages like people praying.
- Highest point of lamentation - double basses shriek.
- Music fades - using celeste as in 1st Movement.
- Final major chord is a benediction.
4 of 5
- 1937 - Height of Great Terror - Many friends been arrested.
- S's last chance of survival - depended on the last movement.
- If symphony has ended with the 3rd, would have killed S.
- BUT the rejoicing can feel as is someone is beating you with a stick and telling you to enjoy it.
- Movement starts with A-D (dominant to tonic) note - Familiar from the 1st movement.
- Music like newsreel - constantly shifting pictures, felings and views.
- In recap - march stays slow, not regaining original tempo as if forced to celebrate.
- Similar to a passage in Boris Godunov, crowds forced to praise the Tsar.
- Final - home key of D major reached by very painful process.
- D major section should be secure , as Mahler's 3rd symphony
- BUT minor inflections in harmony, dead end knocking rhythm present with heavy percussion.
5 of 5