In the June 10 edition of his Russian Music class, David Nice explored “End of the Thaw and musical life after Khrushchev.” Nice wrote:
“Khrushchev’s sudden rages against jazz and abstract art signalled a closing-down of hard-won freedoms. Shostakovich’s Thirteenth Symphony, setting a range of poems by the young iconoclast Yevgeny Yevtushenko, was a surprise casualty. Meanwhile, dodecaphony was having its impact on a younger generation of composers, but not for long: we see how with Alfred Schnittke and the Estonian Arvo Pärt.”
Loviisa was my sun and joy.
Hämeenlinna was my school town, Loviisa was freedom.
The young woman arrived at our table and exclaimed, “I love the summer.” It seemed to me as if she sang each sound as she spoke it. I thought how lucky we were to be in Finland in July, with its long sunlit days and temperate weather. Continue reading →
View of 26th Estonian Song Celebration from where I stood (lower right in hat and vest) (Photograph by J. Holford)
It must be somewhere, the original harmony . . . —Juhan Liiv
When we first decided on a trip to Helsinki, we didn’t know that Tallinn, Estonia, was so nearby. Nor did we know, when we first arranged our schedule, that our arrival in Tallinn coincided with the last day of the 26th Estonian Song Celebration, a storied national event held once every five years. I was able to get two tickets, on the grass. Whether we could actually attend was open to doubt, but at least we’d have a chance.Continue reading →