Socialist Realism, Modernism, and Dmitry Shostakovich’s Odna (Alone, 1931)

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Joan Titus, Associate Professor of Musicology (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: After the somewhat unsuccessful premiere of The New Babylon in 1929, Grigoriy Kozintsev and Leonid Trauberg embarked on a new film, Odna (Alone). At this point in time, the arts, including music and film, were experiencing a shift into what would become the socialist realist aesthetic that dominated the 1930s and beyond. Composers, artists, writers and film directors were placed in a position where they were increasingly forced to negotiate between state politics and progressive art. On the film 'front', technology was rapidly changing. The March 1928 Party Conference on Cinema questioned and further defined the 'Soviet' film, which placed greater demands and restrictions on film-makers. These conferences and state organizations required that film be entertaining, profitable and properly socialist - a difficult request to fulfil, since many Soviet-made films were educational and therefore unpopular when compared to those starring Charlie Chaplin. With the introduction of the possibilities of sound film in the early 1930s, many directors, such as Kozintsev and Trauberg, were already beginning to experiment by adding music and sound effects to their film projects. In 1931, the first sound films were introduced to the public, among them Alone and Dziga Vertov's Enthusiasm (Symphony of the Donbass).

Additional Information

Shostakovich Studies 2, edited by Pauline Fairclough, 100–120. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010
Language: English
Date: 2010
Dmitry Shostakovich, modernism, film music, socialist realism

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