Dmitri Kabalevsky and His Second Piano Concerto in G Minor, Op. 23



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This thesis is divided into a biographical part on Dmitri Kabalevsky’s life and an analytical part of the first movement of his Second Piano Concerto in G minor, Op. 23. This thesis aims to reveal unexplored aspects of Dmitri Kabalevsky’s life such as his non-pedagogical compositions, career, relation with his contemporaries, the Soviet government and Socialist Realism. The biographical part draws from secondary sources such as Soviet Composers and The Development of Soviet Music by Stanley D. Krebs, and Music and Musical Life in Soviet Russia by Boris Schwarz, and also Russian source Kratkij Očerk žizni I tvorčestva D. B. Kabalevskogo by Kabalevsky’s daughter, Marija Kabalevsky. The latter offers valuable academic sources which are previous not available in English. Based on it, important findings in the biographical part include the composer’s unrecorded one-movement Piano Concerto and unrecorded Stalin Prize. This section also reveals political factors behind the success of Kabalevsky’s opera Colas Breugnon, Op. 24, his reception vicissitude related to his devotion to Soviet government, and Kabalevsky’s approach to reflect Socialist Realism principles in untexted music. Kabalevsky’s compositional stages, his escapement from the 1948 denouncement, and his public figure to the West are also presented. In addition, Kabalevsky uses structural and tonal deformations of sonata form to depict a heroic story in his Second Piano Concerto in G minor, Op. 23. The analytical section employs James Hepokoski’s and Warren Darcy’s sonata theory to demonstrate how Kabalevsky uses sonata form to express the ideals of Socialist Realism.



Dmitri Kabalevsky, Piano Concerto Op. 23, Socialist Realism, Socialist Realist, Soviet music, Sonata form, Deformation, Hepokoski, Darcy