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The Musical Legacy of Wartime France$
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Leslie A. Sprout

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780520275300

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520275300.001.0001

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From the Postwar to the Cold War

From the Postwar to the Cold War

Protesting Stravinsky in Postwar France

(p.151) 5 From the Postwar to the Cold War
The Musical Legacy of Wartime France

Leslie A. Sprout

University of California Press

Although the 1945 protests in Paris against Stravinsky's latest music initially concerned aesthetics—rejecting neoclassicism—rather than politics, French students’ heckling of a prominent prewar composer touched a raw nerve. The students, led by Serge Nigg, associated neoclassicism with the discredited Vichy ideal of a French national tradition. Yet in defending Stravinsky, composers allied with the Resistance (including Auric and Poulenc) made ominous references to questionable wartime choices by those who supported the protesters, such as Jolivet. Nigg's prominent role in the protests prefigured his complex political and musical trajectory in early Cold War France after 1948, when the Soviet Union pressured him, along with fellow French Communist Party members, to replace “falsely cosmopolitan tendencies” with the music of their national heritage.

Keywords:   Igor Stravinsky, Serge Nigg, Francis Poulenc, Georges Auric, André Jolivet, Cold War, Vichy, neoclassicism, French Communist Party

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