Art at the time of the ‘Great Terror’: Prokofiev’s Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution The twentieth anniversary of the October Revolution made the year 1937 a high point of Soviet culture. At the same time, the ‘Great Terror’ under Stalin reached its gruesome peak. Prokofiev, who settled permanently in Moscow in 1936, knew which country he had entered. The first position amongst Soviet composers seemed to have been vacated when Shostakovich had become a non-person following the Pravda article Muddle instead of Music. Prokofiev indicated his cooperation: he was determined to become a Soviet composer. In the Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution he played out his genuine enthusiasm for mass scorings, combining colossal symphonic forces with a double choir, a brass band, an accordion ensemble and a gigantic percussion section. The cantata oscillates between revolutionary vehemence and lyrical melodies, bet- ween Russian folklore and riotous military tumult.
An exceptional historical document of the highest compositional level – Kirill Karabits released in the year of the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution. Kirill Karabits, Music Director of the Deutsches National theater and Staatskapelle Weimar, realises this monumental work with the Staatskapelle Weimar, the Ernst Senff Chor Berlin and
members of the Erfurt Air Force Band. Also called into action are a nine-piece percussion section, an accordion quartet, gun shots, alarm sirens etc. whilst the conductor himself uses a megaphone to give a rousing rendition of the texts.