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Episode Info:

This coffee break ventures back into the stressful world of music composition under the political oppression of Stalin's Soviet Union. We listen to Prokofiev's Zdravitsa (A Toast in Honour of Stalin's 60th Birthday), which rides the boundary between great music and political pandering. Shostakovitch gets out of the political doghouse by writing a tribute to reforestation in a Song About Trees. After Stalin died, Shostakovitch was able to tell the truth about the horrors of Babi Yar in his Symphony #13. We close the coffee break with the compositions of Georgi Sviridov who could seemed to be able to be true to his style throughout the regime. contact the show at


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