Music: People's Composers

As every conscientious Soviet composer knows (or at least has been clearly told), music stood still 50 years ago. Even the best of them—Dmitry Shostakovich, Aram Khachaturian and the late Sergei Prokofiev—learned that lesson. In 1948, the Central Committee of the Communist Party accused them of representing "the formalist perversions and anti-democratic tendencies in music. The music savors of the present-day modernist bourgeois music of Europe and America, which reflects the decay of bourgeois culture." Last week the Central Committee took another look at the nation's three ranking modern composers and decided that none of them had really meant to be...