Abandoned Melodies

DMus Anne Elisabeth Piirainen, in cooperation with pianist DMus Kirill Kozlovski examine stylistic peculiarities in the compositions of the Krein family, analysing this neglected repertoire to the backdrop of the cultural development within the Soviet Union.

Introduction

The musical legacy of the Jewish-Russian musical family Krein has remained broadly unknown. These three composers Krein have created unique works within the classical repertoire, combining stylistic elements of Russian Post-Romanticism, French Impressionism and Jewish traditional music. Each of them has found an individual voice, but there are also congruencies in the styles of all three composers.

Under the dictatorship of Stalin, gradually all religious activities were banned, including artistic activities with Jewish content. In the music of the Krein family, striking stylistic changes can be traced under repression. All three composers used Jewish themes in their early works, but during Stalinism the Jewish traditional elements vanished from their compositions. In the Soviet Union after Stalin, compositions with Jewish themes remained widely disregarded. Consequently, these excellent and valuable works are neglected until present day and awaiting their highly necessary rediscovery.

The focus of this research lies on compositions with clarinet and piano, and in a broader context also on chamber music with clarinet. This project aims to examine stylistic peculiarities in the compositions of the Krein family, analysing this neglected repertoire to the backdrop of the cultural development within the Soviet Union. The project makes this rare music available for a wider audience through recordings and concert performances, lectures and scientific articles.

Contact information for the project

    • Anne Piirainen

    • Visiting researcher, Historiafoorumi, Research hub

Project name

Abandoned Melodies: Tracing stylistic changes and identifying the influence of Stalinist repressions on the use of Jewish themes in clarinet compositions by Grigory, Alexander and Yulian Krein.

Time

01/2021-12/2021

Funder

The Finnish Cultural Foundation