Friday, June 22, 2012

Musical Masterpieces Born Because of June 22...

On this day of the year; the year being 1941, an event occurred which still manifests itself , in geopolitical terms , even to this day:
On an approximately 1800 mile front, some 3,000,000 men of Hitler's Germany smashed into Mother Russia, unleashing a conflict that, dimensionally, has never been replicated in dimension. The invaders got as far as within some 14 miles of Moscow. Then, in an agonizing process, was slowly but inexorably forced out of Stalin's Russia over the next three and a half year period, with millions of soldiers and civilians never returning to their respective homes.
The greatest land battle in the history of Man resulted in a titanic redistribution of military power and political positioning giving us, of course, the emergence of the two Superpowers, Russia and the United States.
Out of the indescribable Hell of a war of unprecedented horror, the omnipresent human language called Art , emerged, as it almost always does out of human conflict. In this particular case, I am thinking, in particular, of sublime expressions depicting Man's darker side, by two Russian giants; one being Shostakovitch, the other, Prokofiev.
In the gargantuan Leningrad Symphony by Shostakovitch, the stark reality of conflict, in my view, serves as one of the most provocative examples of the obscenity Man can bestow upon himself.
In the so-called "War" sonatas (6, 7, and 8) of Prokofiev, the grinding mercilessness of war is wonderfully given us by this unparallelled master of irony - for me, the most powerful section of these sonatas is the final movement of the 7th sonata, written in 7/8 time, with its asymmetry and never ceasing 8th note rhythm.
For those of you who are not familiar with these statements, do review the battle between the two Fascist giants; then - listen...

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