Tag Archives: Soviet Union

Béla Bartók (1881-1945): The years in America, triumph over tragedy

James L. Franklin George Dunea Chicago, Illinois, United States   Fig 1. Béla Bartók in 1927. Unknown Photographer. Via Wikimedia. Black clouds of war were hanging over the world when Béla Bartók and his wife Ditta Pásztory (1903-1982) disembarked in New York Harbor on October 30, 1940. For the remainder of his life, Bartók would […]

Embalming Vladimir Lenin

One of the last photographs of Lenin with his sister and one of his doctors. May 15th 1923. Photo by Maria Ulyanova. Via Wikimedia. In 1997, two years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Ilya Zbarsky wrote a book about embalming the body of Vladimir Lenin, a process in which both he and his […]

Shostakovich and his mysterious neurologic disease

For most of his life Dmitri Shostakovich lived under the shadow of Joseph Stalin, the brutal dictator of the Soviet Union. In 1936, Stalin and some members of the Politburo attended a performance of Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. Stalin did not like it. The next day, the opera was criticized, denounced, and ridiculed in […]