Some kind of utter lie of the staff historians contributes to this a lot, and I want to break one such: that Stalin de mastered the great Soviet composer Shostakovich. In fact, it was just the opposite: he festered him with his sensitive hand!
The false story was based on the article of 1936 of the year in Pravda, “Muddle instead of music,” criticizing Shostakovich’s opera “Katerina Izmailova” (“Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk County”). The article came out without a signature, others called it the author of Stalin, but her text, far from the extremely recognizable Stalinist catechism style of presentation, obviously does not belong to him. Although the story informs that it was he who gave the word “confusion” - and it seems to me that the editorial staff simply stated in his own words his theses, why there was no signature. They considered it awkward to sign with Stalin, very sensitive to his articles, to put another name under the retelling of his thoughts, too.
Now about the text itself. Liberal critics, accustomed to the fact that our public is no longer looking at the original source, called it "monstrous political separation." But he, for all his criticality, does not violate the framework of the genre at all, not a word about politics at all:
“From the very first minute, the listener is stunned at the opera by a deliberately incoherent flow of sounds. Scraps of melody, the beginnings of a musical phrase drown, break out, disappear again ... If the composer happens to get on the track of a simple and understandable melody, he immediately rushes into the jungle of musical confusion, as if frightened. Expressiveness is replaced by a mad rhythm ... "
I dare say that it absolutely coincides with what I experienced while listening to this really dislocated opera, whose most important task it was to embody Shakespeare's “dislocated age”. But for Shakespeare, behind those words of Hamlet goes: "O cursed spite, that I was born to set it right!" (Approximately: "And I have to straighten it!"). The lot of high art is to correct this dislocation with its harmony, to heal it spiritually, and not just to reflect it. But Shostakovich didn’t set such a task, unlike Mussorgsky or Verdi, whose brutal plot of the opera can be said with the words of Baratynsky: “A spirit of pain heals a song”.
But further in that article it is even more important: “This is all not from the talentlessness of the composer, not from the inability to express simple and strong feelings. This is music, deliberately done by a “collar”, so that nothing resembles the classical operatic. This is music that is built on the same principle, according to which left-wing art in general denies realism, clarity of image, natural sound of the word in the theater ... The ability of good music to seize the masses is sacrificed to petty-bourgeois formalistic attempts to create originality by means of cheap original writing. This is a game of abstruse things that can end very badly ... "
And here, along with the Soviet rhetoric of those years, deep thought passes in a concise form as yet unwritten by Thomas Mann’s novel “Dr. Faustus”. His hero Adrian Leverkun, a gifted composer who is something very close to Shostakovich, by the same welter and complete detachment from the need to “seize the masses” comes to a complete collapse. He is ruining both himself and his gift - and the baby Nepomuk, who has become friends with him, who, as it were, personified the naive German people who fell victim to fascism. One of the meanings of this novel is that the arrogant detachment of the spirit from the flesh, the high creator from the "low" people, leads to inevitable mutual death.
In Mann, this truth is already an afterthought, when Soviet cannons are beating on Berlin, in which a fictional biographer appends the story of the late Leverkjun. But Stalin seemed to have foreseen this plot, having done everything to prevent Shostakovich from falling into Leverkuynovsky draft, but to become the great composer of the country!
In 36, he is 30. He is already a lively composer, author of music for the “Bug” of Mayakovsky, four “trial” symphonies, an “all-Union” “Song about the counter” - and this abstruse “Katerina Izmailova”. But still not the first value against the background of such luminaries as Prokofiev, Glier, Myaskovsky.
And so Stalin, a regular at the opera and theater, grabs him with his watchful eyes from the other "young and early", seeing in him such a gift, still littered with fashionable "leftism" that cannot be missed. He makes his own on him, which is hardly understandable to someone next to him, and in the form of this article gives him a very serious creative advance. It does not matter that the article with a minus sign: the fact that the authoritative press has attended to the young talent puts it in a certain strategic reserve. No “battle of the tyrant with the composer,” which is now lying, does not smell: what's the point, in the midst of the sea of affairs in the country, to fight this chick? On the contrary, Stalin, in the spirit of his slogan "Cadres decide everything!", Wants to make him a firebird - as did Tupolev, Korolev, Lavochkin and many others, which the current government is no longer engaged at all.
And to the arrogant, but still with the thin, like a young potato, the skin of the composer, probably distressed, and flattered by that article, comes to its distinct meaning. And he, not with the ease of dude, but by voluntarily breaking his still dairy ridge, changes to what the leader expects from him. And in a new way for himself, he writes his 5 th symphony, the first of its already classical ones, where the nested essence goes back to the clarity that is characteristic of great masters. The life of the country splashes around in it, and at its premiere, our common people, who were then attending concerts, applauded 40 minutes, which is much more liquid pops of aesthetes on Katerina Izmailova!
Our liberal, utterly crazed critics write: “Shostakovich was pre-compiled to compose the 5 th symphony!” Yes, any composer on the planet would have died of happiness if someone had pressed him to such music!
In response to this already indisputable and original Soviet masterpiece, immediately recognized in the world as the best example of those years, Stalin himself writes in Pravda: “The business creative response of a Soviet artist to fair criticism ...” And then each Shostakovich opus, “dowry” Stalin to the world standard, becomes an event of the cultural life of the world. In the 1940 year, when he nevertheless had not yet written his greatest things, he was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor, and a little later with the Stalin Prize.
However, how could some newspaper article act so deeply on a composer gifted by God? But now she was able to - such was the price of the word, for which she was sometimes paid with her head, and faith in a leader who, like God himself, did not sin with many words.
But Stalin, by no means a pure esthete immersed in the 30 in a deadly race with Germany, clearly needed the art of Shostakovich not for itself, but for some higher goals. And here again his visionary is highlighted, otherwise I can not name him, a genius. In the besieged Leningrad, Shostakovich, already a classical realist, wrote his greatest 7 th symphony, which served our victory over the Nazis no less than the Battle of Stalingrad.
From the strangled city, he gives the world the news that not only our victorious spirit is not dead - but it is also the spirit of great music, completely lost by fascism. And for the whole world there is no longer any choice that still flashed at the beginning of the war: to whom to help, Germany or the USSR? Only the country with such a creator as Shostakovich, with such a torn from the blockade music, which Hitler did not have, was ordered by God to help! And Hitler's propaganda, that the Russians are savages and enemies of civilization, worthy only of slave yoke, is bursting to an enormous extent with the help of Shostakovich.
In Leningrad, the premiere of the 7 Symphony 9 in August 1942 of the year is broadcast by radio and street loudspeakers - which was also heard by the enemy. And there are memories of the Germans who fought there: that day they felt they would lose the war ... The symphony score, like a strategic cargo, flew to the USA by a military plane, its triumphal first performance in New York was broadcast by all North and Latin America radio stations.
And she became our bold trump card in the most fierce battle of the creation of the world, the outcome of which, according to our and hostile generals, was decided on a spiritual level. At the same time, this most victorious music in the world is not easy, like “Katerina Izmailova”, reflected the horrors of the fascist invasion. Sounding all over our country, with its inscrutable power, it helped to overcome difficult military and post-war adversities. That's where Stalin, as a real prophet, has been tagged with that supposedly diverse article in Pravda five years before the war!
His gratitude to the creator who justified all expectations, the real brother of armswho helped recapture fascism was generous. Under Stalin, Shostakovich received high awards every year, including the Order of Lenin, five Stalin prizes and so on. In relation to him the tough, but completely consonant cruelty of the era, the leader, who knew how to achieve everything with his whip and carrot, used only carrot. And Shostakovich, with his widest range, from folk music to cinema to sophisticated fugues, which became the musical face of the country, did not lead one iota. With all the turmoil of that time, denunciations and squabbles, no less than they are now, he answered the Motherland, which had placed him on the highest pedestal, with the purest creative coin. After 5, the “classical” and 7, “blockade”, already all his symphonies, to the last 15, all his music truly helped our people to live and build, raising our spiritual brand over the whole world.
Why all this collapsed later - is another song and mystery. Why did the other great powers collapse with their equally great creators? This is what we would have to unravel now - and find how to be reborn on a memorable yet basis, to defeat the present war of the worlds, how we were able to defeat fascism with Stalin and Shostakovich. But with the current lie in all pores, with the negative selection, with which the new Shostakovich, Tupolev, Korolev we have no more space, it is not so easy to get to the clue.
Stalin did not restrict the freedom of Shostakovich, who became close to him on the spiritual, higher even than the party level, in any way. And the first formal restriction came to him already under the cult of the smaller and non-musical god Khrushchev. The one who is more “ideologically close” to our current history, existing in Western grants, forced Shostakovich to join the CPSU in 1960 in the year: it’s necessary for a “common cause”. But in fact, Khrushchev, not possessing the breadth of the forerunner, tried to pull the party under him, which, under the Stalin cult, still served the whole country, and under it all our culture.
For Shostakovich, a “non-party communist” who faithfully served the country without such a bridle, this formal bridle became a distressing sign of distrust. However, having left the formalism for a long time to the point, he somehow demolished this will of the one who, desecrating the vengeful cult of Stalin, could not resist, so as not to defile this favorite of the previous titan.
Our present musicologists, led by the émigré Solomon Volkov, who wrote such nonsense, went in an even worse way, “no one suffered for his music more than Shostakovich”. Moreover, even Western musicians called the book by Volkov “The Testimony”, which became a copyright by Shostakovich for our musical mold, deceitful and incompetent. And this mold, which we see in all cultural media, wants to make our great composer not the winner, flourishing from the Stalin submission, but some kind of dull outcast with a fig in his pocket.
But he wasn’t such, he was absolutely modern in our era, an optimist who had the courage to carry his wounds healing songs through all her dramas and tragedies. It was our sound track to the future, in which we, having changed our forerunners and fell into the pit of oil freebies, did not go. And in order to justify the disgraceful fall, let us now crush and run a curse, how much in vain is the native history and its creators!