Friday, 20 August 2010

Mosolov The Iron Foundry Prom 46

Quirky highlight of this week's BBC Proms adventures in Russian repertoire is The Iron Foundry by Alexander Mosolov, in Prom 46.

The Iron Foundry was written in 1926-7, before Stalin's dead hand set in, the Soviet Union still supported Revolution in the arts, so its avant garde modernity fitted right into the Soviet mentality at the time. Workers glorified, not effete upper-class dilettantisme.

Nowadays, The Shock of The New may not be so unsettling, but in 1926-7 the world was agog with the idea of The Brave New World and visions of a future transformed by mechanical processes and technology. Extremely relevant to our world, revolutionized as it is by information and communications technology. What connects Mussolini to Bertolt Brecht, Afredo Casella to George Antheil, Legér to Duchamps to Fritz Lang? In September, Lang's Metropolis will be reissued in a new, clean print. I've seen it already and am going to write lots more. But here is a clip of the original, Watch it while listening to Mosolov's The Iron Foundry tonight. Why do they bother to write ersatz music when authentic 1920's music like this exists? (The picture is by Adolf von Menzel, painted in the 1880's, expand for detail) I will write about this Prom and even more interesting Prom 47 which connects to it later - Lucerne Mahler 9 Abbado is just up, then Wagner from Bayreuth ! Please come back, subscribe, bookmark.

No comments: