Tchaikovsky meets Debussy : French and Soviet musical diplomacy in occupied Austria, 1945-1955
Title: Tchaikovsky meets Debussy : French and Soviet musical diplomacy in occupied Austria, 1945-1955
Author: GOLOVLEV, Alexander
Citation: Florence : European University Institute, 2017
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of History and Civilization
Taken in their socio-political context, competitive strategies of using music as a means of asserting individual prestige have seldom been considered by historical research. This dissertation argues that the promotion of their own national music and performers was an important asset for France and the USSR. Unlike the US and the UK, the continental European Allies could claim membership of a common European musical canon, and thus legitimize their presence within Austrian soundscapes and discursive fields. Allied-occupied Austria represents a highly interesting case study, particularly due to the uniquely open forms of competition that took place between different Allies and between East and West, Austria’s complex ideological and cultural history, which stretched from multinational monarchy to Nazism, and the symbolic standing of the country as the land of music, which itself informed Allied musical policies. Drawing on documentation from the Allied administrations, bilateral cultural societies, and native Austrian institutions, the dissertation investigates the design and conduct of musical diplomacies, the agency of the actors involved, and their adaptation to Austrian expectations and reactions. Emphasizing high-brow art music, both France and the USSR supported performances of French and Russian music by Austrian musicians. However, they also launched a number of important guest tours, the reverberations of which extended widely throughout Austrian society, successfully integrating folk music and dance into French and Russian musical offerings. The reception of French and Russian music in Austria is investigated through influential daily newspapers, notably in Vienna, Salzburg, and Innsbruck. Discursive constructions of musical French- and Russianness were marked by Bildungsbürgertum conservatism and nationalism, whereas high-brow elitism established common ground between the French, Soviet and Austrian actors. Pursuing their own agendas, powerful cultural journalists allotted positions of prestige to and critically engaged with French and Soviet/Russian musical exports, notably with diverging modernities. They also diversified the images of the two countries, ascribing to them a series of nationally defined musical categories, existing independently of considerations of hard power and political entanglements. An investigation of these layers of musical transfer and interpretation will contribute to our understanding of the communicative dynamics of cultural diplomacies, multifaceted national imageries, and the nexus between local, national, inter- and transnational histories of music and culture.
LC Subject Heading: Music and diplomacy -- History; Music -- Political aspects -- Austria -- History -- 20th century; Music -- Political aspects -- France -- History -- 20th century; Music -- Political aspects -- Italy -- Soviet Union -- 20th century; Austria -- History -- Allied occupation, 1945-1955
Defence date: 11 September 2017; Examining Board: Professor Federico Romero, EUI; Professor Pieter M. Judson, EUI; Professor Thomas Angerer, Universität Wien; Dr. Barbara Stelzl-Marx, Ludwig-Boltzmann-Institut für Kriegsfolgenforschung, Graz
Type of Access: embargoedAccess
Preceding version: http://hdl.handle.net/1814/45287
Version: Chapters 2 ‘Information and cultural services in the French administration : diplomatie culturelle and its application in occupied Austria' and 4 'Soviet concerts : red artists or old Russia?' of the PhD thesis draw upon an earlier version published as a chapter 'Zur Kulturpolitik der UdSSR in Österreich 1945 bis 1955 : Musik als Repräsentationsmittel und ihre Auswirkungen auf österreichische Russlandbilder' (2016) in the book ‘Österreich im Kalten Krieg : neue Forschungen im internationalen Kontext’.