### Symphony No 3 in Eb major, op. 20, “The First of May”

“The 1st May Demonstration on The Red Square, 1929 (1930)

Konstantin Yuon

__________

let me correct something I wrote in my
you somewhat with my inappropriate
use of the word “movement”, that the
Symphony no 2 had only one, I stated,
by which I meant that there were no
pauses throughout, there are, however,
indeed four movements in the Second
four distinct sections that have been
joined together, such an uninterrupted
piece would usually have been given
an appropriate title, or an opus number,
to identify it, but would not have been
called a symphony, a symphony is by
very definition a clearly segmented
composition, like chapters in a book,
they might follow a theme, though not
necessarily, see Mozart, but the breaks
are integral, where you get a chance to
cough, or to get up and replenish your
glass of wine

the Second could have been, should
have been, called simply, October“,
and, ergo, left at that

but it wasn’t

the very same must be said about the

you can already probably hear the
jubilation and fanfare in just the title,
another milestone of the Revolution,
the anniversary of Lenin’s death, the
final chorus sings a lyric of a poet of
the Revolution, Semyon Kirsanov, a
sure nod to the symphony‘s political,
however peripheral, intent

what you’ll note, however, is the
sensuality of the music, above
whatever weight of a, perhaps
more fitting, dirge, or the bombast
even of a commemorative, an exalting
tribute – though these are determinedly
there – going back to the orchestral
triumphs of the Romantic Era, with
its lush rallentandos and its voluptuous
ritardandos, the better to seduce

Shostakovich is getting ready for the
real thing, a piece with any partisan
message, he must sense, can never
work

by the way, should you disagree
with any of my evaluations, this
would not at all be offensive, but
even wonderful, I have been
wrong, I can prove it, I have the
dates, they are listed somewhere
in my papers, but it would mean
you’re paying attention, listening,
which is the entire purpose, more
than anything else, of this
exploratory exercise, should you
wish to participate

R ! chard