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Publication - Professor Pauline Fairclough

    Personal Friendships, Professional Manoeuvres

    Edward Elgar in Russia before and after 1917


    Fairclough, P, 2019, ‘Personal Friendships, Professional Manoeuvres: Edward Elgar in Russia before and after 1917’. Slavonic and East European Review, vol 97., pp. 9-38


    Edward Elgar's reception in Russia has been an obscure chapter in both Soviet and imperial Russian musical life. Due largely to a specific combination of circumstances, but also to questions of reputation, taste and fashion, Elgar never became popular enough in pre-revolutionary Russian concert life to survive the upheaval of revolution. This article examines the continuities linking Russian Elgar reception before and after 1917 to show that, despite having prominent supporters, key works like the First Symphony and Enigma Variations were coolly received at all points of Russian musical history: David Oistrakh's performance of the Violin Concerto in 1946 marked the end of Anglo-Soviet cultural exchange, after which any opportunity of performing Elgar in Soviet Russia once more fell into abeyance.

    Full details in the University publications repository