October 3 2014

Eisenstein’s October: Ten Days That Shook the World, made in 1927, with the soundtrack composed by Shostakovich in 1966 for the fiftieth anniversary of the revolution:

Shostakovich made a tone poem, October, from the soundtrack in 1967; Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Neeme Järvi:

Shostakovich’s second symphony, To October, was produced for the tenth anniversary of the revolution, like Eisenstein’s film. Shostakovich described the second of its four sections in a letter to Boleslav Yavorsky as the “death of a child” killed on the Nevsky Prospekt. It has a choral finale by Alexander Bezymensky praising Lenin and the revolution. London Philharmonic, Bernard Haitink:

Shostakovich’s purely orchestral twelfth symphony, composed in 1961 and not one of his best, is called The Year 1917, but doesn’t seem to cover both revolutions.

The first movement describes revolutionary Petrograd, the second Lenin’s headquarters at Razliv outside the city. The third movement is called Aurora, after the battleship that fired at the Winter Palace. The last, The Dawn of Humanity, describes Soviet life under the guidance of Lenin.

This is the premiere, October 1 1961 (YouTube says 1960), Leningrad Philharmonic, Yevgeny Mravinsky:

The Julian or Old Style October 25 1917, the date of the armed insurrection in Petrograd, corresponds to November 7 in the Gregorian or New Style calendar. On January 24 1918 the Council of People’s Commissars decreed that Wednesday January 31 was to be followed by Thursday February 14.

The rather moving last October revolution parade on November 7 1990, two days before the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall; the USSR was dissolved on December 26 1991; there had been no parade that year, the year of the attempted coup (the vodka coup):

On June 12 1991, before the attempted coup, Yeltsin was elected by popular vote to the newly-created post of President of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, one of the fifteen constituent republics of the USSR. He had previously been Chairman of the Presidium of its Supreme Soviet.

On the resignation of Gorbachev and the dissolution of the USSR, Yeltsin remained in office as the President of the Russian Federation, one of the USSR’s successor states. Putin succeeded him in 2000.

One Response to “Октябрь”

  1. davidderrick Says:

    The opening of the second symphony suggests a crowd aurally rather as the Polish Solidarity logo did visually. Iconic as it is, perhaps sym 5 of 1937, a reassertion of his Soviet credentials, but nothing directly to do with 1917, is the start of a decline.

    1947 produced

    Poem of the Motherland, opus 74, cantata for mezzo-soprano, tenor, two baritones, chorus and orchestra, words by?; written for the anniversary, but not performed until 1956

    There are two patriotic works from 1957 without opus numbers:

    October Dawn, song for soloists and choir, words by Vladimir Kharitonov

    Two Songs, for chorus and piano, words by V Sidorov
    We Cherish the October Dawn in Our Hearts
    We Sing Glory to Our Country

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