Mozart with a Stalin Era Style
Stalin listened to the live broadcast of Maria Yudina playing Mozart and ordered
A record to be sent to his villa by morning. But, because, perhaps,
She once read a poem from Doctor Zhivago as an encore, then there must exist
An unwritten regulation: She shall not be recorded, play as she may.
By that midnight, Stalin’s panic underlings found her shabby shag
And drove her to a studio where a small and equally panic orchestra was assembled.
By early morning a legend came into being:
A single pressing of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 was produced.
Ere long, Maria Yudina received a money of 20000 ruble, as a Stalin Award,
To which she felt obliged to write an acknowledgement letter:
"Thank you for your help, Iosif Vissarionovich. I will offer my perpetual
Prayers for your sins committed before the people and the state. Lord, I have faith,
Is merciful, and he will forgive you, as I have donated the money to my church."
Before sending in the letter, Stalin’s underlings had already prepared
An arrest warrant, and they were waiting to be approved by a scowl from their master.
Stalin did not make a sound, putting the letter beside a pile of letters
From seksots, and for an unbearably long period they stood there waiting,
But Stalin remained silent, face blank, even without his pipe.
When he was found dead in his villa, the Mozart record was still on the gramophone,
Making a never-ending creaking sound. Needless to say, before the grate,
Stalin had faced the music alone, and perhaps in horror of death, but Yudina’s Mozart
Was running like a brave creek from a hot spring, indomitably washing away
The icy snow cap on the black stones along its way.
Thanks for this "creature that sleeps in a coffin," as people said of her,
That our human world has known a Mozart with a Stalin era style.
Think about the contrast, the force!
September 13, 2009