Music: Glory to Stalin

Russia's composers had spoken their apologies for their past sins of "formalism" and "bourgeois ideology," and promised they would try harder to stay in the right key. Last week, the big brass of the Soviet Composers' Union assembled at the Moscow Conservatory to hear if all the promises had been kept.

In their titles, at least, most of the 220 new works in the 1949 output were clearly in tune. Dmitri Shostakovich, who once showed signs of becoming a great composer, had turned in a new oratorio, The Song of the Forests. It glorified Stalin's reforestation plan. Sample verse (by Poet Evgeny...

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