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Music in the Soviet Cinema: Culture, Form and Politics

Egorova, Tatiana K. Soviet Film Music: An Historical Survey, trans., Ganf, Tatiana A. and Natalia A.
Egunova (Amsterdam: Overseas Publishers Association, 1997)
Egarovna presents a remarkable survey of important works and aesthetic trends in Russian
Cinema. She covers an enormous amount of material in a brief setting. Her even handed tone
leads to a strong jumping off point for further research. Of particular interest are sections on
lesser known composers such as Dunyayevsky and Armentyev whose stylistic diversity is quite
remarkable. Also particular interest are unexpected composers Schnittke for instance who
flourished in the film industry while becoming known in the west predominantly for their
concert works.
Sitwell, Robynn J. And Phil Powrie eds., Composing For the Screen in Germany and the USSR
(Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008)
Though the first section dealing with Germany is only tangentially related, Part two dealing
with the USSR provides an insightful redrawing of the theories of Eisenstien and his
collaborations with Sergei Prokofiev.
Schmelz, Peter, The Full Illusion of Reality: Repentance, Polystylism, and the Late Soviet
Soundscape in Sound Speech Music in Soviet and Post-Soviet Cinema, Kagonovsky, Lilya and
masha Salazkina eds., 230-251. Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 2014.
Addresses the supposed stylistic stagnation of late Soviet era cinema. Focusing on Abuladze's
film Repentance, with score by Alfred Schnittke
Bartig, Kevin. Composing for the Red Screen: Prokofiev and Soviet Film, (New York: Oxford
University Press, 2013)
A musicological and biographical account of Prokofiev's relations with the cinema. Useful for
biographical summarization and a music theory perspective.
Ivashkin, Alexander. Alfred Schnittke (London: Phaidon Press Limited, 1996), 106 -120.
Provides an in depth study of Schnittke's work in the cinema. The chapter begins with an
insightful perspective on the relationship of film and art music in the USSR contrasted with the
parallel in the Hollywood system.
Ivashkin, Alexander. Who's afraid of Socialist Realism? The Slavonic and East European Review, Vol.
92 No. 3 (July 2014). pp. 430-448, accessed Jan 27 2015, JSTOR
An examination of the construct of the Socialist realism aesthetic. Focuses on Shostakovich,
Prokofiev and Schnittke as pillars amongst the larger cultural milieu

The following are a selection of films to be analyzed

Aleksandr Askoldov Director. Commisar, (Gorky Film Studio, 1967) video recording
Once condemned, now highly celebrated film about the Russian Civil War featuring score by
Alfred Schnittke
Chiaureli, Mikhail Director. The Fall of Berlin (Mosfilm, 1949) video recording
The height of Stalinist Deification with a score by Shostakovich
Eisenstein, Sergei Director. Ivan The Terrible (Mosfilm, 1944(part one) 1958(part two)) video
The apex of Soviet formalist cinema
Sophia, Milkina and Michael Schweitzer Dirs. Time, Full Speed! (Time Forward) (Mosfilm 1965)
video recording
A good movie kept alive by the use of its title theme as an unofficial Russian anthem
Tarkovsky, Andrei Director. Siberiad (Mosfilm 1979) Realist epic by the Soviet Kubrick. Featuring
wonderful electro symphonic score by long time collaborator Eduard Armetyev.