Aaron Copland's soviet diary (1960).
In early 1960, Aaron Copland, accompanied by Lucas Foss, spent four weeks in the Soviet Union as a representative of the U.S. State Department. There he conducted and performed his own music, met with fellow composers and students, and distributed material on American music. During his travel, Copland kept a brief diary, a rare day-to-day account of Cold War diplomatic work that reveals how Cold War geopolitics mediated his musical evaluations. This article offers an annotated transcription of the diary, contextualized with select English- and Russian-language primary sources.
During March and April 1960, Aaron Copland and Lukas Foss spent four weeks in the Soviet Union, where they performed their own music, met with fellow composers and students, and distributed material on American music. Their tour symbolized hope that the arts and cultural figures might play a role in American-Soviet relations, although it was not immediately clear whether it would be conciliatory or competitive. Roy Harris, Ulysses Kay, Peter Mennin, and Roger Sessions had already toured the U.S.S.R. in 1958 as emissaries of the U.S. State Department, and the following year the Soviet Union dispatched six of its most prominent musicians to the U.S. (1) Copland and Foss traveled in 1960 largely for parity's sake, so that each superpower had sent an equal number of cultural emissaries.
Copland was at once an obvious and unlikely choice. Arguably America's most prominent musician, he was widely known in the U.S.S.R., much more so than the 1958 composer-diplomats. Moreover, he was no stranger to diplomatic work, having undertaken state-sponsored tours to Latin America in the 1940s. (2) Yet Copland's brush with Joseph McCarthy's anticommunist campaign in 1953--largely the result of his involvement in pro-Soviet organizations and events--was still a fresh memory. (3) That he was selected for a State Department tour of the U.S.S.R. only seven years later testifies to the rapid thaw in U.S.-Soviet relations that followed Nikita Khrushchev's 1956 promise to scale back hard-line policy and foster communication with the West. (4)
Copland's interest in Soviet music predated the Cold War. Already in the mid-1930s, for example, he expressed interest in linking the New York Composers' Collective with the Union of Soviet Composers. During World War II, Copland served on a State Department subcommittee for exchange with the U.S.S.R., undertook leadership positions in several U.S.-Soviet "friendship societies," and admired the socially progressive stance of select Soviet composers. (5) In 1960, however, an Iron Curtain divided the world, recent diplomatic efforts notwithstanding. Copland's tour raises questions as to how he triangulated his own preconceptions, geopolitical pressures, and the ostensible goals of cultural diplomacy. Throughout his 1960 trip, Copland documented these tensions in a brief diary, a rare day-to-day account of Cold War diplomatic work. His chronicle, in which themes of technical innovation and competition are evident, suggests Cold War geopolitics at least in part colored his musical evaluations. A transcription of the diary follows, (6) contextualized for the first time with select English- and Russian-language primary sources. Of particular interest is the diary's relation to a post-tour report Copland published in the New York Herald Tribune (see n. 72), an important Cold War document that has received little scholarly attention.
TOUR PREPARATIONS, 1959-60
Copland seems to have been the first choice for the tour, a State Department representative having approached him already in the summer of 1959, soon after the Soviets revealed the unanticipated size of their delegation. (7) He eagerly agreed, and even discussed plans with the visiting Soviet musicians during their New York residency. (8) The State Department initially hoped to send also the arch-modernist Elliott Carter as a foil for Copland, who, whatever his recent adaptation of twelve-tone music, was still the face of American folk-influenced populism. When Carter declined, Foss was tapped hastily, scarcely a month before the departure date. (9) The thirty-seven-year-old Foss had neither the modernist pedigree nor the prominence of Carter, but his youth and vitality counterbalanced the "dean" of American composers. Foss was also a fine pianist, and his skill captivated Russian audiences. Nevertheless, judging by the documentary record, Copland was the tour's clear attraction and guiding force.
But what did Copland know of contemporary Soviet musical life? To be sure, that Soviet ideologues disparaged American jazz and experimental music was well known outside of the U.S.S.R. Indeed, observers asked the Soviet composers who visited the U.S. in 1959 if there was an outright ban on such music in the U.S.S.R.; the guests maintained that Soviet audiences did not much care for "academic" serialism or its opposite, "commercial" music, and thus no bans were needed. (10) For more specific (and presumably less biased) information, Copland turned to a 1959 essay in Musical Quarterly by Karl H. Worner, a musicologist who reported on his own recent tour of the U.S.S.R. (11) Worner sidestepped the issue of bans, lamenting instead their ostensible consequences: a homogeneous musical language, one with "no influence from French Impressionism or from German Expressionism, nothing of the dodecaphonic or the row." "Soviet music," he averred, "maintains continuity of tradition with the 19th century.... Soviet music of today is as 'Russian' as it ever was.... [T]here is a pronounced sense of the narrative and descriptive as well as strong formal balance." (12) Worner thus explained Soviet music not in terms of Soviet Socialist Realism, an aesthetic doctrine that located social value in tradition and narrative clarity, but as a quaintly backward echo of the nineteenth century that could not compete with the West's (implied) innovation.
Indeed, Worner made little mention of aesthetic doctrine, let alone its connection to the artistic shortcomings he perceived, a tack that Copland would also take. By contrast, Copland's disciple Leonard Bernstein, recently returned from a Soviet visit with the New York Philharmonic in fall 1959, assumed a far more ideological stance. For example, during a brief address at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., he asserted that
Soviet composers, if left to their own devices, would love to experiment,--because a real artist always likes to try out new things and test his wings. An artist is a daredevil, and there are real artists in Russia, but they are acting contrariwise because they belong not just to a country but to an ideology. They defeat themselves by having the ideology insist that it (music) sound always familiar, as though the most serious music should perform the same function as our popular music. (13)
Copland, who carefully studied a transcript of this speech, knew that Bernstein's claims had been a diplomatic blunder. In the U.S.S.R., the younger musician had ballyhooed the similarity of American and Soviet contemporary music (even likening Copland to Shostakovich), but then, as is evident from his Press Club speech, backtracked after returning home. Having learned of Bernstein's change of heart, Tikhon Khrennikov and Dmitrii Shostakovich, two members of the 1959 delegation, signed an article in the Communist Party newspaper Pravda condemning Bernstein's disingenuousness. (14) This development may have convinced Copland to criticize Soviet music during his tour--an approach documented in his diary--either to instill trust and honesty or to infer American superiority while on Soviet turf, not that the two are mutually exclusive.
To be sure, Copland was well aware of the binaries that buttressed the cultural Cold War, at least as ideologues expressed them in the West. The standard narrative was one that pitted innovation and freedom (American experimentalism) against conservatism and repression (Soviet socialist realism). (15) For instance, during the tour Copland privately wondered why Soviet audiences displayed no reaction to his and Foss's "modernisms," evidently assuming that concert goers would immediately perceive stylistic innovations that had been denied them. Copland reassured himself that audiences were just being cordial, but in reality he largely overestimated his own "modernism." (16) His Piano Quartet, the most modern work he offered the Soviets, was so only by dint of an inaudible compositional process (the quartet was the composer's first essay in a serial idiom). (17) For listeners, its lyricism and striking consonances hardly seemed "advanced" beside Sergei Prokofiev's imposingly dissonant Sixth Piano Sonata, the work with which it shared a tour program. Copland furthermore seemed unaware that his Soviet hosts would avoid polarizing stylistic labels; the quartet might have raised more eyebrows had audiences known it was a serial work, but the Russian-language program note distributed with concert programs did not clue them in. The unidentified author of the note described Copland's post-1946 music merely as "non-programmatical." (18)
The State Department evidently assumed that Copland and Foss would sort out these and other musical matters without guidance, limiting their official orientation to nonspecialist matters. Their induction into Cold War diplomatic life amounted to a half-day lineup of meetings with Soviet specialists from the U.S. Information Agency, State Department officials, and public affairs advisors. A visit to the Voice of America studios concluded the orientation, where Copland likely recorded a radio spot concerning his upcoming trip. (19) Significantly, Copland remained responsible for a great deal of logistical planning, including selecting works for performance and assembling a cache of scores, recordings, and books to distribute to Soviet musicians.
ON TOUR: COPLAND'S SOVIET DIARY
In his initial entries, Copland, unlike most first-time visitors to the Soviet Union, barely mentions housing, transportation, or food. Although never loquacious as a diarist, he declared that "it would be easy to make hasty judgements" concerning Soviet life (see 20 March entry), presumably a reason to limit himself to musical observations. Copland summarized his experiences at the end of each day, usually relying on notes scribbled on scraps of paper during meetings and listening sessions. (Wherever possible, material from these notes has been included both in brief, explanatory passages between entries, and in the notes.)
The itinerary and concert programs were sketched out only after arrival, on the first full day of the tour. Both were subject to last-minute changes. For example, an article in the Moscow newspaper Izvestiia reported that Moscow audiences would hear Copland's Third Symphony and suites from Appalachian Spring and The Tender Land, but only the symphony eventually appeared on a program. (20) Likewise, Copland and Foss were to visit Kiev, but Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, was substituted at the last moment for unclear reasons. Copland and Foss likely spent their first days at the imposing Leningrad Hotel, where the 1958 delegation had lodged, eventually moving to the more centrally located Metropole Hotel. Throughout the tour, a translator accompanied the Americans; Foss dubbed her their "spy secretary," a rather accurate description of such functionaries, who were to document their guests' movements and reactions. (21)
KLM flight from Amsterdam. Stop at Warsaw. Arrival at Moscow. Met by Khrennikov, [IUrii] Shaporin, [Vano] Muradeli, etc.
Courtesy visit with Llewelyn Thompson, Ambassador. (22) Union of Composers arranging 4 week plan: Kiev, Moscow, Riga, Leningrad, Moscow. Shostakovich present. Then visit to Moscow Conservatory with composers [sic] faculty. Met young composer students with considerable familiarity with my music. (They claimed they were writing a piece for my 60th.) The Circus in the evening. (23)
A.M. Listened to tapes at Composers' Union. We heard a ballet Path of Thunder by Azerbaijan [sic] composer Kara Karaeff (1915). (24) Colorful, Milhaudish, easy-to-take ballet music with occasional original touches based on folk tunes. Then an "official" sounding piece, Pathetic Oratorio, by Georgi Sveridoff (1915) from Leningrad. (25) Very effective, in movie terms, rabble rouser on a Mayakovsky poem. (26) Nicest piece by German Galinin (1922)--Piano Concerto (1946). (27) It is bright, snappy--the work of a talented youngster. Unfortunately had a bad accident in '48, and composes no more. Then listened (for fun) to Shostakovich's 'Cello Concerto [no. 1], Again an impression of carefully balanced forward movement plus a simple philosophical mind that gains a certain strength from a rather naive approach. P.M. Drove around Moscow and visited the Kremlin. Icy wind and church interiors emphasized the gloomy magnificence of it all. Evening--War and Peace by Prokofieff at the Bolshoi. It was madness for him to have attempted the libretto himself. Over-long and lacks any natural flow, but as customary, the music [is] full of melodic (etc.) invention. The audience shocked me by its cold reception. No applause, practically speaking.
Left for Tblisi [sic] by Soviet Jet (2 hr 20 min). Rainy and cold when we reached there. "Persian" seeming hotel with lots of swarthy characters standing about. To us Georgians look rather Turkish, sometimes gross faces, sometimes strikingly handsome. Drove to [Mtskheta] (28) for dinner with Balanchivadze, (29) head of the Composers' Union and brother of Geo[rge] Balanchine. In the evening saw some of Dhargomishky's [sic] Russalka at the provincial Tblisi [sic] opera theater. Straight Italian opera with Russian premonitions.
Spent the morning studying Lukas' Piano Concerto. At noon we met with the Composers' Union--heard native folk tapes--curious three-part polyphony in their singing, derived from the middle ages, and scores by Balanchivadze, Lagidze, [i.e., Kvernadze], and Gordely (Fl[ute] Concerto). (30) Music expertly done in the Russian manner; occasional "modernisms" borrowed from Ravel and Hollywood. The musicologist P. V. Khuchua (31) complained about being cut off from the West for so long ("We have never heard de Falla"). Later the local Conservatory put on a concert in our honor. Enthusiastic crowd of students. Lukas stole the show by accompanying a 14 yr old girl violinist in the Rondo Capriccioso of S[aint]-Saens. The crowd insisted on hearing more. (Chopin, Bach, etc.) Then dinner with the Composers' Union members with many toasts and much food and Georgian wine.
Left at 6 AM for the return flight to Moscow. We are moved to the Metropole Hotel in the center of town. A walk around for an hour by myself; a spring-like day with the snow melting everywhere. The temper of the people is hard to fathom. They were out in droves, shopping, and seemingly intent on their own affairs. (I pass for Russian, since 3 people asked me questions.) No exchanges of glances as usual in the West. It is clear that it would be easy to make hasty judgements.
In the evening: [Tchaikovsky's] Pique Dame at the Bolshoi Opera.
Back in Moscow, Copland again visited the Union of Soviet Composers. There he first heard the music of Andre Volkonsky (1933-2008), a composer born and educated in Western Europe who emigrated to the U.S.S.R. in 1947. In the second half of the 1950s, Volkonsky adopted serialism, albeit in "unofficial" works. (32) Significantly, Copland branded Volkonsky's transgression of Cold War stylistic binaries "naive," assuming that what he heard at the Union was the far left of the Soviet stylistic spectrum. In fact (and rather predictably), two of Volkonsky's less experimental works were featured at the session. Copland felt compelled to nurture what he considered Volkonsky's nascent radicalism, presenting him with the most "advanced" of the materials he had brought. These included recordings of Charles Ives's Three Places in New England and Elliott Carter's Variations for Orchestra, as well as Lejaren Hiller and Leonard M. Isaacson's Experimental Music, a recently published guide to that most advanced of Western endeavors: computer music. (33)
Afternoon at the Composers' Union to hear tapes: A. Volkonsky's Quintet for Piano and Strings, op. 5, an early work of a Geneva-born composer who is a rebel (they say); and an Estonian composer's work. Tamberg (born 1933)--a Concerto Grosso. (34) Both works show talent. Listening cut short by a telephone call from the Moscow State Orch[estra], We can have an hour of rehearsal. L.F. uses it while I watch. He is very demanding with the orch[estra]--allowing nothing for a first reading.
In the evening at the Puppet Show (An unusual concert). Home on the metro for kicks. Remarked how well attired everyone, without exception, is.
First rehearsal of my 3rd Symphony, lasting 4 hours. The orchestra is willing, but doesn't have a distinguished sound. (Applause after mvts II and IV.) We'll manage. Afternoon seance with young composers at the Composers' Union (Kabalevsky present). We heard:
1. Ter-Tatevosjian--Symphony No. 1. (35) He's gifted and young; a certain dash and spontaneity which give him freshness.
2. a dullish Viola Sonata in the Russian manner by Bunin. (36)
3. Arno Babajinian (1947) rev. 1958--Brilliant Piano Sonata, lots of notes well handled, but the music itself lacks point. (37)
4. Karen (nephew) Khatchaturian 3rd Symphony (1956). (38) Shows some talent if only because it is not in the "official" manner, but technically seems a little awkward, which in itself is a rarity here.
5. [Arvo Part] (Estonian and still a student) at 23 shows considerable natural gift in his Partita for piano, tho' the piece doesn't quite add up. (39)
6. Andre Volkonsky's Viola Sonata (1957) shows him undecided as to what path to follow. A poetic idea seems to induce the music, and some parts are striking. Still, in the West it would seem like a rather naive modernism, while here he rates as an enfant terrible.
Big surprise when he told us that his most recent music is inspired by Morton Feldman's Columbia disc! (40) (Obviously he has a strong urge to rebel.)
L.F. saw to it that his Psalms were heard; and to ease his conscience insisted I play the record of my Statements (He also "dated" Volkonsky without me). (41)
Copland spent the evening of 23 March with Hans Tuch, a veteran cultural and press attache. Joining them was Stanley Krebs, a Ford Foundation Fellow studying composition at the Moscow Conservatory who would go on to publish a groundbreaking study of Soviet music. (42) Given that Copland's next listening session (26 March) yielded detailed evaluations, it seems reasonable that Krebs nuanced Copland's understanding of contemporary musical culture in the U.S.S.R.
Rehearsed the Moscow State Orch[estra] in the afternoon. Had dinner at my first Moscow restaurant (pectopah). Moscow's newest the Budapest (Dinner for 5 cost $5 each). (43) Krebs, American] student here, and the Tuchs (cultural attache) were my guests. Much talk of the U.S.S.R., supplying background not obvious to the tourist.
I have a cold. Damn! Lunch given for us at the Embassy by the Counsellor Minister, Mr. Freers. Present Khrenikoff, Kabalevsky, Shostie (with 2 wives). It transpired that Leeds [Music Corp.] pays publication rights for Soviet music and them nothing (so reports Khrennikov). They looked hopeless at the prospect of paying American publishers' fees for performance. This spoils my idea of a depot for American] music in Moscow, tho' they claim the Union will collect a library of foreign music on their own. I stayed home in the evening and nursed my cold.
The first tour concert, titled An Evening of American and Soviet Modern Music, took place on the evening of 25 March in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. Those in attendance likely noted the similarity to Bernstein's fall 1959 program with the touring New York Philharmonic: both concerts opened with the American and Soviet national anthems, followed by major works of Copland and Shostakovich. Bernstein and Copland both addressed the audience directly, though Copland drew not a direct parallel between his music and Shostakovich's (as Bernstein had done), but stressed the "optimism" of his Third Symphony, which he related to the work's compositional context: the heady final days of World War II. Foss's Second Piano Concerto and Shostakovich's Ninth Symphony followed. A report the next day in the New York Times noted that Copland's symphony had received a "warm and polite" reception, "without undue enthusiasm." Foss, by contrast, received an ovation, which Copland attributed to Foss's athletic performance of his own concerto. Still, the Times reporter made no effort to hide the fact that Shostakovich had stolen the show. (44)
Several days later, musicologists Lev Grigor'ev and IAkov Platek praised Copland in the newspaper Sovetskaia kul'tura (Soviet Culture), which carried the only significant Soviet review of the concert. They agreed with the composer that the symphony conveyed "optimism," a favorite positive in the socialist realist lexicon (typically expressed with the adjective zhizneutverzhdaiushchii, or "life-affirming"). They went further, citing praiseworthy folk themes, humor, and lyricism. Not surprisingly, then, they commended "a closeness to Russian music and, in particular, to Shostakovich's works," echoing the very same thesis Bernstein had advanced during the Philharmonic tour. They saved more withering criticism for the less-seasoned Foss, whose concerto had some "good" aspects but lacked clear direction. (45)
Dress rehearsal in the morning. Concert at night. Felt strange conducting the Soviet anthem and Star Spangled Banner side by side, TV camera glaring at me. Third Symphony went pretty well, with a fair reception. L.F. big hit as pianist. Shostie's Ninth completed the program. At the end I presented him with honorary membership in the Nat[ional] Inst[itute] of Arts and Letters. Post-concert party at the Tuchs--no Russians accepted invitations, so we were consoled with foreign press people and Amb[assador] and Mrs. Lewellyn Thompson. (46)
Copland based a significant portion of his post-tour report (discussed below) on his next listening session, this one at the Moscow Conservatory. The repertory again included works by young composers, including two who would eventually have significant careers in the U.S.S.R.: Al'fred Shnitke (Alfred Schnittke) and Rodion Shchedrin. At the conclusion of the session, Copland roundly criticized the music's conservatism, flustering hosts who had intended to impress their guest. Shchedrin's ballet, for example, had been widely praised in the Soviet Union, and Leopold Stokowski had (at least according to Soviet reports) performed excerpts from the work abroad, a significant honor for the twenty-eight-year-old composer. (47)
Visits from Soviet literature paper, Gregory Schneerson, and Mr. Leonidoff of N.Y.C. ballet. (48) Lunch at the residence of the Indian Ambassador Mr. [K.P.S.] Menon. Visit to the Conservatory. Instead of students we were met by a group of professors, including Shaporin. We heard a talented oratorio by a young man called Albert [sic] Schnittke entitled Nagasaki. (49) This allowed him a few grave dissonances (like the Hollywood writers might allow themselves with similar material). Also heard part of a ballet The Hunchback by S[h]chedrin (50) and a Sinfoniett (51) by Karamanov, neither of which were in any way interesting. A short discussion followed in which I suggested that Russian composers knew too well what style to work in. Disturbed reaction on the part of our listeners. I told them that listening to typical Russian music exclusively it would be hard for me to imagine all the other existing styles of contemporary music. In the evening a service intim[e] chez Shostakovitch. His wife and son Maxime, Kabalevsky and Khrennikov and their wives were there. (When I told Mrs. Khren[nikov] that she looked Scotch she replied: oh no, I'm Jewish.) Purely social evening--few toasts and Shostie in a relaxed and charming mood. Big and generous spread of food (all familiar items at our hotel) with shouts of Maxime (who looks at 20 like a young French intellectual) down the length of the table. (52) I watched Shostie while Lukas and Kabalevsky played a Haydn Symphony 4 hands. He loves music with a kind of innocent joy I have rarely seen in a famous composer. Music must have been a great solace to him in the tough days. Much excitement about a chess tournament whose results were announced over the air. I was persuaded to play my Piano Sonata. At the end they all 3 said "Spasibo" ("thank you") with no comment of any kind.
A.M. Rehearsal V[iolin] Sonata and Piano Quartet with fine group of young musicians. They never made mention of the idiom, and seemed to love the idea of playing with me. Entrained at 3 P.M. for Riga. Interesting views of Russian villages and factory towns from the train window. L.F. at his most charming.
From 28 March until 2 April, Copland and Foss visited Riga, the capital of the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic, where they heard folk music and American jazz. Copland found both compelling, the former for an "authenticity" absent from the folk-inspired symphonic works he had heard, and the latter for its subversive trappings. He began to suspect an "underground" musical scene that Soviet officials prevented him from seeing.
The second tour concert took place on 1 April in the Great Hall of the Latvian State University with the Latvian Radio Symphony Orchestra. Copland led the orchestra in his own suites from Rodeo and The Tender Land. Foss directed his Ode for Symphonic Orchestra and Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky's Francesca da Rimini. Copland's tone is difficult to discern in the following entries. For example, he places what seem to be ironic quotation marks around "cultural relations" apropos the audience's inscrutable reaction to the concert. Copland also refers to the scores and recordings he brought to the U.S.S.R. as "propaganda"; he doled out much of the material himself, selecting individuals that he felt might appreciate the music best. Shostakovich, for example, received a recording of William Schuman's Sixth Symphony, and Kabalevsky one of Appalachian Spring (as noted, Volkonsky the rebel got more "modern" items). Little went to institutions and students, apart from copies of Gilbert Chase's America's Music, which Copland deposited at each institution he visited. (53)
Arrival in Riga at 9:30 A.M. We are met by a delegation of seven and presented with red roses. At 11 AM I was rehearsing Rodeo. The orchestra is 3rd rate, unfortunately. L. says I look so happy when I conduct (I wonder why?). He thinks it is infectious. At lunch we met a Time-Life man, Edmund Stevens, (54) who with his wife took us out to dinner at the Astoria Rest[aurant], Lots of pleasant chatter, with a post-meal walk around the old town.
Rehearsal in the morning. First letters written, finally. The Nutcracker Ballet at the Riga Opera House at night. The kids were charming, the rest utterly conventional.
Rehearsal in the morning. Presented discs to the radio station, scores to a choral conductor, clar[inet] concerto to a clarinetist, etc. 'Tis thus we propagandize. Meeting at 5 with Composers' Union of Latvia. Very well organized presentation of their music on tape with short fragments of works by younger men, Edmund Goldstein (1927) and [Romuald Grinblat] (1930) and older men Jacov Medina (18 ) and Adolf [Skulte] (1909) teacher of most of the young composers. (55) Top man seems to be Janis Ivanovs, (56) composer of many works, including 9 symphonies. Saw little merit in his stuff, myself. They seemed genuinely interested in hearing some of our stuff. I gave them a taste of App[alachian] Spring and Lukas his Symphony of Chorales (2 mvts.) and Song of Songs (someone mentioned Hindemith, and unearthed his [Lukas's] Berlin birth, with the usual innuendoes). Dashed off to hear two acts of Prokofieff's The Duenna (57) at the Riga Opera. One of his least inspired pieces in a creditable production.
Rehearsal: it is obvious by now that the orchestral men have given their all. Fears of poor practice cannot be counteracted in a week. In the afternoon looked at some films of Latvia. At 6, reception by 6 of the big wigs of the Composers' Union. Toasts, etc. We played some jazz records we had brought during dinner. They played us a Cosmos Symphony by one [Raats], (58) a 23-year-old Estonian composer, a bone of contention apparently because of his "modernism." Much dynamism of the 20s, especially Scythian Suite vintage. But the boy has talent, and certainly, courage. It became clear that Latvia and Estonia have bonds of friendship in the musical field. Tal[linn] seems to be the better of two, and I guess it is something of a hotbed of "modernism." Too bad we couldn't see for ourselves.
Riga concert. I began by conducting 3 national anthems--Soviet, Latvian, American. (We were on TV and radio--TV from behind the conductor's stand.) The men played well. Very enthusiastic house, especially for L.F., whose youthful charm and musical authority wins audiences. Even he seemed surprised at the response to his Ode. At the end, a very friendly demonstration for us both, with flowers, etc. Much interest in Lukas in the green room by a large group of teenagers. No comment any kind from anyone about our music; instead one gets a sort of over-all cordiality which tells nothing. Nevertheless "cultural relations" were definitely established that night.
In the morning a drive to the Baltic Sea, about 12 miles from Riga. Nice old-fashioned wooden dachas on the way, and a white and frozen Baltic to walk on at the end. On the way back we visited a bit of the old town. In the afternoon I was shown an ensemble of folk instrumental performers. The principal folk instrument was the kokle, a kind of resonant zither with a more substantial tone. It is placed on a table and played seated. There were seven of these in this particular ensemble, divided into treble, alto, tenor, and bass. Together they made delicious sounds, like a sensitive Aeolian harp. The women's faces, playing the instruments, reminded me of faces I have seen in middle ages paintings--something serene and devoted in their attitude that was very sympathetic. (Their playing fingers looked a definite image of musical embroidery.) The rest of the ensemble consisted of members of the clarinet family--including a contra-bass clarinet--a recorder--a percussionist with a delightful jingle-jingle tinkly instrument and a home-made "zilofone," (59)--and a few brass instruments] that, for me, spoiled the originality of the sound combination, but admittedly help to make climaxes. I was particularly enchanted with the atmosphere of quiet devotion to a musical objective that pervaded the group.
We went upstairs to visit the main concert hall (this was in the old Philharmonic building) and mirabile dictu, what do I find in rehearsal but a 15-piece orchestra of so-called "light music," playing in absolute perfection a Stan Kenton big orchestra style jazz. This obviously highly organized and popular group had not been mentioned by anyone in Riga to us. It was in startling contrast to what I had heard downstairs and dramatized the problem of the "authorities," and makes clear that nothing short of outright suppression can stop the fascination with American jazz. The jazz group had not one iota of originality, but, the degree of imitation was deeply flattering to America by implication. It made me wonder as to what other musical manifestations we are not being told about.
Departure by train at 9 PM for Leningrad. L.F. surrounded by 10 teenagers at the station from the previous night's concert, all wishing farewell.
Peter the Great's northern capital was the next stop on the tour and the site of the third concert, featuring the Leningrad Symphony Orchestra in the Great Hall of the Philharmonic. The overall format was similar to the Riga program, Foss directing two works, one his own (Symphony of Chorales) and one Russian (Kabalevsky's overture to Colas Breugnon). Copland led the orchestra in his Statements and the suite from The Red Pony.
In Leningrad, Copland heard more jazz. After taking in an "official" ballet that used jazz to flag Western decadence (i.e., capitalism), he was especially pleased at an unplanned meeting with young jazz musicians, in whose enthusiasm the composer saw potential for political dissent. Copland seems to have made an unscheduled visit to one of the musicians' apartments ("chez F.B." in 5 April entry); he appreciated the frank conversation that took place there, but makes no mention of the risk the young Soviet citizens took in meeting privately with a high-profile foreign visitor.
Other smaller impromptu moments confirmed Copland's own preconceptions. He remarks, for example, that a Leningrad music shop was devoid of Western music, vindicating his 26 March complaints about Soviet isolationism. In reality, music students had far greater access to foreign music and texts in foreign languages than Copland realized; such material could not be purchased but was available for study in the reading rooms of state conservatories. (60) Tellingly, he was surprised to learn that the young Soviet pianist Aaron Aronov had performed his Piano Sonata (1941) at the Leningrad Conservatory while he and Foss were in Riga. (61) "Where did he get the music?," Copland wondered, despite having remarked at the tour's outset that young Soviet musicians knew his music well (see 16 March entry).
11:10 A.M. arrival Leningrad. Met by the usual delegation (no flowers, however). Thirty composers are leaving this week, we learn, for a Composers' Congress in Moscow. Too bad, they will miss our concert. But we shall meet with them the day we depart. (P.S. we didn't.) (62) L.F. much troubled about rehearsing his Symphony of Chorales. Orchestra most cooperative in the planning stage.
We are given a tour of the city. Most impressive views along the Neva, the Nevsky Prospekt, Place Square, St. Issacs [sic] Cathedral and the Aurora ship. Later we stepped in, on our own, to a record shop and a music shop. The only piece of foreign music we could find was a reprint of Gershwin's Three Preludes.
In the evening went to the Kirov Opera to see a ballet The Beach of Hope by a young Leningrad composer Andrei Petrov. (63) An odd mixture of fairly good and pretty bad stuff--much Ravel and Hollywood influence--but a quite good jazz scene depicting the degenerate West. Ballet itself never got beyond musical comedy implications, with technically expert dancing. (House is sold out for our concert here.)
First rehearsal with Leningrad Philharmonic. This orchestra is excellent, best so far. Well-disciplined and expert, closest thing to an American orchestra they have, probably. The men very cooperative, and nobody showed the slightest sign of concern about our "modernisms" (this was true everywhere).
In the afternoon, the Hermitage--1st visit. In the evening, attended concert version of Damnation of Faust by Berlioz. Technically clean performance by Riga artists, but left a rather dead impression--lack of any particular fire (conductor: Edgar Tons). (64)
Walking in the Nevsky Prospect after the concert with L.F. we were approached by 2 amateur jazz musicians who recognized us from photos in Amerika. (65) Much talk of a local jazz club, divided into two factions, traditional and advanced jazz fans; and remarked upon the complete imitativeness in ideas and popularity polls among their members of the American jazz scene. They knew everyone, except Ornette Coleman. Walked us back to the hotel, where, in the street, we presented them with 3 records ([Lennie] Tristano, [Gerry] Mulligan, Modern Jazz Quartet). Much excitement at this.
Day of rehearsing. I also heard a young pianist, Aaron Aronov, play my Piano Sonata in creditable fashion (he had given it in concert several days before). Where did he get the music? Presented him with the Fantasy. At night paid an unscheduled visit chez F.B. Much sense of spiritual starvation and inner resentments. Had to guess how far it might go. Nice kids, tho'.
Rehearsal until 3. At night went to hear the jazz music at Palace of Culture. 16-piece band--very socko. Much a-do about our visit. I danced. Had coffee later at jazz enthusiast's ap[ar]t[ment] and talked for tape. Key question: do I think jazz bad? L.F. impressed by the articulateness of my "no."
Rehearsal until 2:30. Visited the Leningrad Conservatory for an hour. (Touched a letter in Beethoven's handwriting.) A venerable old place, rather mossy with tradition. The professor class in U.S.S.R. runs very close to type. The look old-fashioned, and seedy, tho' sometimes very Russian. (Only mention of L[eonard] B[ernstein] thus far by a piano teacher there.)
Concert at night went off well. L.F.'s Symphony of Chorales was politely received. I had to repeat the finale of Red Pony. The orchestra played. Later we exchanged compliments en masse. They really deserve a trip to America. Supper party for 9 later with champagne.
Moscow mail arrives--2 weeks later. (My Easter set!) Visited folk dobra-balalaika orchestra (Andreyev Orch.) at the Radio Station. (66) They played several selections for me. Familiar sound of mandolin orchestras back home. They promised to arrange Red Pony for their group. I left the score with them.
Visited Leningrad Composers' Union. Most composers are away attending conference in Moscow. Heard tapes of works by Balkashin (35) "The Trenches are Covered with Grass," very official--pathetique tone, fulsome orchestration, etc. (67) Galina Ustvolskaya, woman pupil of Shostie, left a strong, if somewhat monotonous, impression with her V[iolin] Sonata. (68) A French-speaking Russian composer and prof. at the Conservatory--V. [Salmonov] had a String Quartet (Scherzo) that had some merit. (69) (He questioned me about 12 tones in America.)
Spent the eve[ning] at the hotel, re-reading mail.
Copland and Foss spent the final two days of the tour in Moscow. The Gnesin Institute, the capital's most prominent musical institution after the Conservatory, was the venue for the fourth and final tour program. Soviet performers dominated the show: Nelli Shkol'nikova and Liubov' Edlina presented Copland's Sonata for Violin and Piano (1943), and the Borodin Quartet offered Foss's String Quartet no. 1 (1947) and Copland's Piano Quartet, the composer joining them as pianist for the latter work. The renowned pianist Sviatoslav Richter filled the second half with Prokofiev's Sixth Piano Sonata.
In his memoirs, Tuch claims that he organized Copland's and Foss's farewell party, again at the Thompson residence. This time, Shostakovich was convinced to attend; Khrennikov supposedly arrived uninvited, much to Tuch's consternation. (70)
Arr[ived]: Moscow, after a restless night on the train. Very exhausting day. Morning sorting music and books at Embassy, rehearsing V[iolin] Sonata, lunched with Cultural Officer Lee Brady and assorted Americans. Then conferred at Composers' Union concerning KMF exchange commissions, etc. Reception at the National Hotel at 4 (2nd big meal in 2 hrs!) given by the Composers' Union (Khrennikov, Shostie, Shaporin, Dankevitch, Yarustovsky [critic] among guests). (71) Much to toast (incl. L. F.'s to me!). Then I asked to rehearse Piano Quartet. Then asked to attend party at newspaper man Edmund Stevens['s] nice house. Lots of correspondents around.
Last full day in the U.S.S.R. Gave a one hour talk on tape for S.U. Radio to be illustrated by recordings. First time an American has ever been given time on the air to speak to the radio audience. (Suddenly 1,000 rubles = $100.) Out we went to buy camera and boxes: final concert in the evening. I play the Piano Quintet with the Borodine Quartet. We did well. Violin Sonata well played by 2 gals. The famous Richter finished the program with Prokoheff's 6th Sonata (Youra of Leningrad suddenly appeared). I left all of my piano music with Richter. Party afterwards at Mrs. Thompson's (Ambassador's wife). Pres. Eisenhower's ass't, Mr. Hagerty, was there. Also Khrennikov and Shostie. To bed at 2 AM.
Up at 7 AM. Off to London (via Amsterdam).
Copland met the Boston Symphony Orchestra in London, where he departed with the group on a two-month tour of the Far East. During the stopover, he dispatched a report on his Soviet experiences to both the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and to the New York Herald Tribune. (72) Worner's influence is clear, as Copland revisited the Musical Quarterly report to check the spellings of Russian names and, it would seem, to parrot many of Worner's conclusions. For example, he related his experiences on 26 March as follows (recall that Worner had opined that Soviet music was "as 'Russian' as it ever was"):
Before going on our visit, I thought I knew what Russian music was like. I was hardly prepared, however, to discover to what a degree Russian music is exclusively Russian. There is an extraordinary and all-pervasive unity of expressive ideal: over and over again the pathetic note is struck, the harmonies are fullsome [sic], the melodies clear and singing, the orchestra coloring familiar. I told the professors at the Conservatory in Moscow that when I listened to the music of their students I found it difficult to imagine whole areas of contemporary music, the very existence of which could hardly be suspected from the evidence their compositions supplied. This, I'm sorry to say, was not what they wanted to hear. They looked surprised and a little hurt. I hastened to add that it is a strength for a young composer to have so strong a tradition to lean upon, but I also made no bones about the fact that it was very limiting and could only lead to more music of the same kind. It became clear by the end of our trip that the music written by local Russian composers and thought of as "controversial" would come closest in style to pieces such as the Scythian Suite of Prokofieff or other dynamically propelled music of the early twenties. Here again our listeners seemed incredulous when we suggested that this music would be "old-hat" in the West. (73)
Here Copland evokes tropes of innovation and backwardness that underpinned Cold War competition. He furthermore omitted from his report the names of the composers his Soviet hosts had so eagerly showed off, noting that it "might be good for a change to know something of the music of younger composers" but that "the Soviets would do well to send the composers themselves." (Copland's position remained unchanged in 1967, when he added a two-page passage on Soviet music to the revised edition of his book The New Music. Although his language is less polemical than in the New York Herald Tribune report, he laments the "familiar idioms" in which contemporary Soviet composers worked. "Where are the adventurous youngsters who can hold their own with their counterparts in Western Europe or Japan or America?" he asked, suggesting this was a problem the "Russian cultural authorities" consider. (74))
Ultimately, it is difficult to know if Copland judged his diplomatic efforts in the U.S.S.R. a success, particularly given his seemingly sarcastic private comments about propaganda and "cultural relations." Judging by his public report, he may have felt it prudent to emphasize difference at home rather than make elaborate claims for cultural brotherhood. Ironically, whatever impact Copland's and Foss's tour might have had on either side of the Iron Curtain was spoiled by the so-called U-2 incident, a scandal involving a U.S. spy plane shot down over Soviet territory. On the same day that Copland's article appeared, Herald Tribune readers opened to the headlines "U.S. Admits Pilot's Spying Mission; Flyer Alive; Khrushchev Hints of Trial. U.S. to Resume Underground Nuclear Tests," all trumpeting what the American public already knew: a rapid deterioration in U.S.-Soviet relations was underway. Copland's report, buried on page five of the same issue, ran under a title that seems inconsistent given its context: "Copland Finds Composers In Russia Co-operative." If the success of Copland's tour is debatable, the diary it generated nevertheless allows us to glimpse the day-to-day diplomatic work of a composer who would, for the remainder of his career, undertake some two dozen more such trips around the world. (75) This document reveals the extent to which Copland sought to be an honest commentator and an agent of exchange, even if his artistic values did not always match those of his hosts.
I am grateful to Carol A. Hess and to an anonymous reader for this journal for their valuable insights. My thanks also to the staff of the Performing Arts Reading Room at the Library of Congress for their assistance, and to the Aaron Copland Fund for permission to publish this transcription. All translations from Russian are my own.
(1.) The Soviet delegation included composers Fikret Amirov, Konstiantin Dan'kevich, Dmitrii Kabalevsky, Dmitrii Shostakovich, Tikhon Khrennikov, and the musicologist Boris LAurustovskii. Concerning the 1960 tour, see "2 U.S. Composers Will Visit Soviet: Aaron Copland and Lukas Foss to Conduct, Perform During 4-Week Tour," Neiu York Times, 8 March 1960. For general background on Cold War cultural exchanges, see Yale Richmond, Cultural Exchange & the Cold War: Raising the Iron Curtain (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2003).
(2.) See in particular Carol A. Hess, "Copland in Argentina: Pan Americanist Politics, Folklore, and the Crisis in Modern Music," Journal of the American Musicological Society 66, no. 1 (Spring 2013): 191-250. On Copland's later diplomatic career, see Emily Abrams Ansari, "Aaron Copland and the Politics of Cultural Diplomacy," Journal of the Society far American Music 5, no. 3 (August 2011): 335-64.
(3.) An overview of Copland's brush with anticommunism is in Jennifer DeLapp-Birkett, "Aaron Copland and the Politics of Twelve-Tone Composition in the Early Cold War United States," Journal of Musicological Research 27, no. 1 (2008): 31-62.
(4.) Ansari convincingly argues ("Aaron Copland and the Politics of Cultural Diplomacy," 348) that the death of the rabidly anticommunist Secretary of State John Foster Dulles in 1959 may have opened the door to Copland's participation in U.S.-Soviet diplomacy.
(5.) I discuss these activities in "The National Council of American-Soviet Friendship and the Cultural Cold War," paper read at Red Strains: Music and Communism outside the Communist Bloc after 1945, London, U.K., 15 January 2011. Copland admired in particular Shostakovich's efforts to reach a wide audience by simplifying his musical style. See, for example, his essay "From the '20s to the '40s and Beyond," Modem Music 20, no. 2 (January-February 1943): 78-82, esp. 82.
(6.) My transcription is based on the diary manuscript (which is part of a notebook entitled "European Journal") in the Aaron Copland Collection at the Library of Congress (hereinafter ACC), box 245, folder 3. Keeping a diary for the purpose of drafting a public report was a long-standing habit; for example, the one he kept while traveling in Latin America during 1941 was the basis for his article "The Composers of South America," Modem Music 19, no. 2 (January-February 1942): 75-82.
(7.) Funding for Copland's visit was authorized on 26 June 1959, as detailed in a United States Government Grant Authorization, ACC, box 361, folder 46.
(8.) Letter from Aaron Copland to Robert W. Weise, 21 January 1960, ACC, box 361, folder 46.
(9.) Carter declined on 28 January 1960, citing the disparity between state support for the arts in the U.S. and that in the U.S.S.R. See Elliott Carter: A Centennial Portrait in Letters and Documents, ed. Felix Meyer and Anne C. Shreffler (Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press, 2008), 159-61. Copland received official word only in a letter dated 18 February 1960 that the tour would proceed, less than a month before his departure. Letter from Frederick A. Colwell to Aaron Copland, 18 February 1960, ACC, box 361, folder 46.
(10.) T. Khrennikov and D. Shostakovich, "Muzyka druzhby," Pravda, 11 December 1959. Translated excerpts from this article appeared as "Soviet Composers Describe U.S. Trip," New York Times, 18 December 1959.
(11.) Karl H. Worner, "Current Chronicle: U.S.S.R.," Musical Quarterly 45, no. 2 (April 1959): 248-54.
(12.) Ibid., 249.
(13.) Bernstein delivered the speech on 13 October 1959. A transcript (prepared for a radio broadcast) is in the Leonard Bernstein Collection (LBC), Library of Congress, box 77, folder 11. Copland obtained an abridged version for his review, ACC, box 361, folder 47.
(14.) Bernstein had, for instance, likened the populist "objectives" of Copland's suite from the ballet Billy the Kid, and Shostakovich's Seventh Symphony. LBC, box 77, folder 12. See also Khrennikov and Shostakovich, "Muzyka druzhby."
(15.) Indeed he had spoken out against them at the 1949 World Peace Conference, though his speech there was later used against him during the anticommunist campaigns. "Effect of the Cold War on the Artist in the U.S.," in Aaron Copland: A Reader---Selected Writings, 1923-1972, ed. Richard Kostelanetz (New York: Routledge, 2004), 128-31.
(16.) So, too, did Foss, who later claimed that he was an "enfant terrible" next to Copland the proper diplomat. Aaron Copland and Vivian Perlis, Copland: Since 1943 (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1989), 285-86.
(17.) The complex interface of Copland's populist "Americana" and abstract compositional systems is explored in DeLapp-Birkett, "Aaron Copland and the Politics of Twelve-Tone Composition."
(18.) ACC, box 361, folder 48. The author of the notes is not identified; the same text is used, with various abridgments, in all tour programs that included notes. The author likewise tempered Foss's recent ventures into indeterminacy, presenting them as a quasi-nationalist project that imbued concert music with trappings of laudable vernacular innovations, namely jazz improvisation.
(19.) "Program for Advanced Orientation," 3 March 1960, ACC, box 361, folder 47. Copland visited the VOA for "studio time," but I have been unable to locate a record of the interview.
(20.) "Amerikanskie kompozitory v SSSR," Izvestiia, 17 March 1960. Copland's notes from the meeting are in ACC, box 361, folder 47.
(21.) Copland and Perlis, Copland: Since 1943, 285.
(22.) Llewellyn E. "Tommy" Thompson Jr. (1904-1972).
(23.) The Nikulin Circus on Tsvetnoi Boulevard; the well-known circus on Vernadsky Avenue, familiar to many Moscow tourists, did not open until 1971.
(24.) Tropoiu groma (In the Path of Thunder, 1957) by Kara Karaev (1918-1982; birthdate 1915 given by Copland is incorrect).
(25.) Pateticheskaia oratoriia (Pathetique Oratorio, on words by Vladimir Maiakovsky) by Georgii Sviridov (1915-1998).
(26.) In his accompanying notes, Copland writes "Steinerish," clarifying that "in movie terms" references the late-romantic Hollywood style forged by Max Steiner. ACC, box 361, folder 47.
(27.) German Galynin (1922-1966) studied with Shostakovich and Miaskovsky at the Moscow Conservatory. The circumstances surrounding the end of Galynin's career are unclear; Copland cites an accident, but official biographies reference a "serious" illness (rumored to be schizophrenia) beginning in 1951. A short biographical sketch is in Muzykal'naia entsiklopediia, 6 vols. (Moscow: Sovetskaia entsiklopediia, 1973), 1:891.
(28.) One of the oldest settlements in Georgia, located immediately north of Tbilisi.
(29.) Andrei Balanchivadze (1906-1992), Georgian composer and teacher at the Tbilisi Conservatory.
(30.) Revaz Lagidze (1921-1981); Bidzina Kvernadze (1928-2010); Otar Gordeli (b. 1928). Copland's notes provide more detail: Balanchivadze's Symphony no. 1 was "straightforward, [a] proper symphony, playable"; Kvernadze's Dance Fantasy was in a "Hollywoodish-Ravelish style"; Lagidze's Sachidao (The Sportive Struggle) was an "easy, Georgian piece--short." ACC, box 361, folder 47.
(31.) Pavel Khuchua (b. 1905), at the time a dotsent (associate professor) at the Tbilisi Conservatory.
(32.) See biographical information in Peter Schmelz, "Andrey Volkonsky and the Beginnings of Unofficial Music in the Soviet Union," Journal of the American Musicological Society 58, no. 1 (Spring 2005): 139-207.
(33.) Lejaren Hiller and Leonard M. Isaacson, Experimental Music: Composition with an Electronic Computer (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1959).
(34.) Copland refers to the 1956 Concerto Grosso of Eino Tamberg (1930-2010; Copland lists his year of birth incorrectly).
(35.) Dzhon Ter-Tatevosian (1926-1988), Armenian composer.
(36.) Revol' Bunin (1924-1976), a former student of Shebalin and Shostakovich. His Viola Sonata dates from 1955.
(37.) Arno Harutyuni Babajanyan (1921-1983), Armenian composer.
(38.) Karen Khachaturian (1920-2011), nephew of Aram Khachaturian.
(39.) Arvo Part (b. 1935).
(40.) New Directions in Music--2, various soloists, Columbia Records/CBS Odyssey ML 5403/MS 6090 (1959), which included selections of Feldman's work dating from 1951 to 1957, including Three Pieces for String Quartet, and Piece for Four Pianos.
(41.) Copland is likely joking that Foss's private meeting stood out in a steady diet of carefully organized group events.
(42.) Stanley Dale Krebs, Soviet Composers and the Development of Soviet Music (New York: W. W. Norton; London: Allen & Unwin, 1970).
(43.) Copland jokes that the Russian word for restaurant, pectopah, resembles the nonsense Latin-script "pectopah." Foreign visitors generally took their meals in hotel restaurants. The Budapest was an Intourist restaurant (i.e., expressly for foreign visitors); Copland may be noung the comparatively high prices foreigners paid in the U.S.S.R.
(44.) "Copland and Foss in Soviet Concert," New York Times, 26 March 1960.
(45.) L. Grigor'ev and la. Platek, "Amerikanskie kompozitory v Moskve," Sovetskaia kul'tura, 29 March 1960, clipping in ACC, box 361, folder 45. Pravda reported simply that the concert was a "great success": "Kontsert sovetskoi i amerikanskoi muzyki," Pravda, 26 March 1960, pg. 6.
(46.) The Soviet guests may have thought it prudent to avoid the American Embassy; they did so during the 1958 tour, and the American guests left the U.S.S.R. "in some disgust," as Hans N. Tuch recalled, Arias, Cabalettas, and Foreign Affairs: A Public Diplomat's Quasi-Musical Memoir, Memoirs and Occasional Papers / Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training (Washington, DC: New Academia/Vellum, 2008), 60.
(47.) E. Dobrynina, "'Konek-gorbunok' Rodiona Shchedrina," Sovelskaia muzyka (1960, no. 6): 111-14.
(48.) Grigorii Shneerson (1901-1982), a musicologist who wrote on a wide variety of topics, including American music. Leon Leonidoff, Paris impresario and European manager of the ballet.
(49.) A diploma piece written in 1957-58 and revised in 1958-59. See description in Peter J. Schmelz, "Alfred Schnittke's Nagasaki: Soviet Nuclear Culture, Radio Moscow, and the Global Cold War," Journal of the American Musicological Society 62, no. 2 (Summer 2009): 413-74.
(50.) Rodion Shchedrin (b. 1932). The ballet is Konek-gorbunok (The Little Hunchbacked Horse), a four-act work completed in 1956 and premiered at Moscow's Bolshoi Theater in 1960.
(51.) Symphony no. 6 (1957) by Alemdar Karamanov (1934-2007).
(52.) Maxim Shostakovich (b. 1938), Russian-born conductor and pianist, the son of composer Dmitrii. Maxim settled in the U.S. in 1981.
(53.) ACC, box 361, folder 47. Gilbert Chase, America's Music: From the Pilgrims to the Present (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1955).
(54.) A veteran reporter who contributed to various English-language publications for over forty years.
(55.) Edmund Goldstein (1927-2007), Romualds Grinblats (1930-1995), Janis Medins (1890-1966; Copland incorrectly lists his birth as 1885), and Adolfs Skulte (1909-2000), at the time chair of composition at the Latvian State Conservatory. Copland's notes indicate that they heard two fragments from Goldstein's Woodwind Quintet (which Copland describes as "folksy"), Medins's Organ Concerto, excerpts from Grinblats's ballet Rigonda and the finale of his Symphony no. 2, and the third movement of Skulte's Symphony no. 2 "Ave Sol" (Copland writes "straightforward, clear"). ACC, box 361, folder 47.
(56.) Janis Ivanovs (1906-1983), a composition teacher at the Latvian State Conservatory since 1944. He was also artistic director of the Latvian Radio Committee. Copland's notes indicate they listened to the first movement of Ivanovs's Symphony no. 5 (1945), and excerpts from his Symphony no. 4 ("Atlantyda," 1941) and Piano Concerto (1959). ACC, box 361, folder 47.
(57.) Obruchenie v monastyre (Betrothal in a Monastery, 1940-41).
(58.) Jaan Raats (b. 1932). At the time Raats was recording director for Estonian Radio. His Symphony no. 4 (1959) is known as the "Cosmic."
(59.) Here Copland opts for a phonetic spelling of "xylophone."
(60.) The British music critic Arthur Jacobs, who visited the U.S.S.R. immediately after Copland and Foss, was in fact impressed by the amount of material available to students. See his "Music and Myth in Moscow," New Statesman, 21 May 1960; clipping in ACC, box 361, folder 45.
(61.) The recital took place on 2 April in the Glazunov Hall of the conservatory. In addition to Copland's sonata, the program included Gershwin's Three Preludes, and several smaller Russian works. Although the program was titled Works by Modem American Composers, Prokofiev's mammoth Seventh Sonata dominated the second half.
(62.) Postscript added in the margin.
(63.) Bereg nadezhdy (Shore of Hope, 1959) by Andrei Petrov (1930-2006), a recent graduate of the Leningrad Conservatory.
(64.) Edgars Tons (1917-1967), a prominent Latvian conductor.
(65.) A Russian-language magazine published by the U.S. State Department for distribution in the U.S.S.R.
(66.) Leningrad Television and Radio Russian Andreev Folk Orchestra, so named for its founder Vasilii Vasil'evich Andreev (1861-1918).
(67.) Travoiu porosli okopy (1959) by IUri Balkashin (1923-1960), a faculty member of the Leningrad Conservatory. Copland is (inaccurately) noting his age.
(68.) Galina Ustvol'skaia (1919-2006), Sonata for Violin and Piano (1952).
(69.) Vadim Salmonov (1912-1978).
(70.) Tuch, Arias, Cabalettas, and Foreign Affairs, 60.
(71.) Konstiantin Dan'kevich (1905-1984), Ukrainian composer and professor at the Kiev Conservatory. Boris IArustovskii (1911-1978), a prominent musicologist. Both had been part of the 1959 Soviet delegation to the U.S.
(72.) "Copland Finds Composers In Russia Co-operative," New York Herald Tribune, 8 May 1960. The typescript, originally entitled "Four Weeks in the Soviet Union--1960," is in ACC, box 198, folder 13. The article also appeared as "Composers in Russia," Boston Symphony Orchestra Bulletin (1961-62): 100-108. Curiously, the only report to appear in the American press immediately following the tour was a short piece in the 20 April 1960 issue of Variety that entirely aped the Soviet Culture article discussed above. The newspaper's editors gave the piece a misleading if far more ideologically suitable title, however: "Copland and Foss Click in Moscow Conservatory; Hail Yank Modernism." Clipping in ACC, box 361, folder 45.
(73.) "Copland Finds Composers In Russia Co-operative."
(74.) Aaron Copland, New Music, 1900-1960, rev. ed. (New York: W. W. Norton, 1968), 84-85. Previously published as Our New Music: Leading Composers in Europe and America (New York: McGraw-Hill; London: Whittlesey House, 1941).
(75.) See list in Ansari, "Aaron Copland and the Politics of Cultural Diplomacy," 339.
Kevin Bartig is assistant professor of musicology at Michigan State University. He is the author of Composing for the Red Screen: Prokofiev and Soviet Film (Oxford University Press, 2013). Current projects include a study of Soviet-American musical exchange, for which he was awarded a fellowship from the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress.
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