Music: Get in Tune

Russia's top composers had apologized for writing ugly, "bourgeois," tainted music. But had their apologies been accepted? From word that trickled out of Russia last week, it seemed not.

In a meeting called by the Central Committee, Shostakovich and Khachaturian (among others) had dutifully flayed themselves. But Izvestia hadn't found the act convincing. They admitted their mistakes, said Izvestia, but "their halfway, insufficiently self-critical statements naturally did not satisfy." There was nothing halfway in what the Politburo's Andrei Zhdanov told them.

Most of their music, he said, "sounded like a dentist's drill or a...

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