Lysenko’s Soviet Legacy?
Lysenko’s Soviet Legacy?

Lysenko’s Soviet Legacy?

Recently I was made aware of the claim that the Soviet national anthem, written by Aleksandr Vasilyevich Aleksandrov in 1943 and adopted as the anthem of the Russian Federation in 2000, might have been inspired by a piano work by the Ukrainian composer Mykola Vitaliyovych Lysenko, Fragment épique of 1876. Indeed, the hymn’s beginning sounds very similar to a passage near the ending of Lysenko’s composition. Is this creative appropriation, as one source argues, or even plagiarism (provided that Aleksandrov knew Lysenko’s work, which might be hard to substantiate)? Or is it just a random resemblance, with the melody and harmonic progression of both examples being derived from the common Romanesca schema, also known as major-minor parallelism? What do you think?

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