Music History Final
1 I watched Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. This serves as a parable for Shostakovich’s interaction with a state. It put him in disfavor with Stalin and could very easily have gotten him killed. It contains deliberate dissonance with snatches of melody. It threatened the Foundations of the socialist state. Shostakovich had the courage to express in his music the misery of the people by means of persecution from a hard and cruel era of Stalinism. The film feautures folk music and Russian traditionalism and shows man kinds vulgarity or cruder impulses. The work feautures a rebellious women of an arranged marriage who is childless and lonely who engages in passionate love with Sergei the new servant. Her Father in Law catches Sergei climbing out the window and beats him and threatens to do it again in the morning. Katarina poisons her father in laws meal killing him and when her husband returns and starts beating her Sergei kills him. At their wedding party one of the guests finds her husbands decomposing body and runs to the police station. Both are exceled to Siberia.
The prisoner’s travel and Sergei claims Katarina has ruined his life and takes up with another women. They are making their way along a fast paced river and Katerina attacks the other women falling into the river disappearing into the current. This would become the denunciation of shosticovitches work until he wrote his fifth symphony simplifying his techniques and adapting classical models. It was a portrayal of primitively realistic sexual content and lucid descriptive music in the sex scenes “Pornophony” . Shostokovich felt it was a justification of Genocide during an oppressive rule of Stalin. It put his life in danger and he was forced to comply with the standards set.
2.) Bela Bartok and Charles Ives were able to incorporate elements of their own national music along with the classical traditions, into a distinct modern style. Bela Bartok was...