This article examines performance and reception of music of sacred tradition in the Soviet Union in the 1970s-80s, with the focus on two works composed in the genre of Catholic Requiem Mass, Alfred Schnittke’s Requiem (1975) and Vyacheslav Artyomov’s Requiem (1988). The article recounts the history of Soviet atheism that, as a result of state’s failure to eradicate religion, evolved into a form of secular modernity, and outlines the music culture in which Schnittke and Artyomov lived. The official reception of the two requiems, which changed dramatically within twelve years, illustrates the state’s changing attitude to religion from atheist, where religion is denounced, to secular, where religion is acceptable, but not officially imposed by the state.
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"A Requiem for the USSR: From Atheism to Secularity,"
Yale Journal of Music & Religion:
2, Article 4.
European History Commons, Musicology Commons, Other Religion Commons