Censorship In Stalin's Chaos Instead Of Music

Decent Essays

Stalin’s immense displeasure after viewing this opera precipitated the official condemnation of Shostakovich. In a Soviet newspaper, called the Pravda, Shostakovich and his opera were bitterly attacked as “formalist, bourgeois, course, and vulgar.” The article, its title directly translated to “Chaos Instead of Music” and written anonymously, describes the orchestral score as “shrieking” and claims the opera’s success abroad was due to the perverted taste of the west, rather than Shostakovich’s brilliance (Sumbur vmeste muzyki). Subsequently, his income dropped by three-quarters and even critics who praised the opera were forced to recant what they had printed. Moreover, the Great Terror began in 1936, and many of the composer’s friends and …show more content…

However, as made evident by the Soviet Union, extreme censorship has the capacity to damage individuals and eventually devastate a society. Soviet policies ruined countless careers and was even the cause of numerous deaths. Composers like Sergei Prokofiev and Dmitri Shostakovich are extreme exceptions in that they managed to retain successful lives while being censured. Nevertheless, the detrimental effects of censorship lead to severe depression for Shostakovich and factored into the death of Prokofiev. Even today, battles are taking place throughout the world over freedom of expression. It is therefore of the utmost importance that the nations of the world understand the history of the Soviet Union and see just how damaging censorship can …show more content…

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