Chrennikows Seven ( Russian Хренниковская семёрка ) was a group of Soviet composers who were sharply criticized during the 6th Congress of the Composers' Union of the Soviet Union in November 1979 by its general secretary Tikhon Khrennikov .
The inclusion of works by these composers in the programs of the music festivals in Cologne and Venice without the prior consent of the Board of Directors of the Composers' Association was used as a pretext for this attack . Chrennikow described these works as "devoid of any musical thought, sunk in the stream of crazy noises and screeching, full of babbling". This charge was reminiscent of another speech by Khrennikov at the 1st Congress of the Composers' Union in 1948, in which he attacked the works of Prokofiev , Shostakovich and Myaskovsky .
Khrennikov's speech was directed against the following composers:
- Jelena Firsowa ( Елена Фирсова )
- Dmitri Smirnow ( Дмитрий Смирнов )
- Alexander Knaifel ( Александр Кнайфель )
- Viktor Suslin ( Виктор Суслин )
- Vyacheslav Artyomov ( Вячеслав Артёмов )
- Sofia Gubaidulina ( София Губайдулина )
- Edisson Denisov ( Эдисон Денисов ).
These composers then appeared on a "black list", which in the following years was one of the reasons for the difficulty of publicly performing and publishing their works in the Soviet Union. In the last years of the Soviet Union and shortly after its collapse, four members of this group, Firsowa, Smirnow, Suslin and Gubaidulina, left their country and moved to Western Europe; Firsowa and Smirnow went to England in 1991, Gubaidulina followed Suslin, who had left the USSR in 1981, to Germany the following year. Denisov, seriously ill after a traffic accident, came to Paris in 1994, where he died in 1996.
While the composer Smirnov speaks of a "black list", a music-historical study shows that Khrennikov's speech in no way led to a concert boycott. All seven composers continued to perform at concerts in the Soviet Union. The term "Chrennikows Sieben" was used more in the West in order to gain interpretative sovereignty over Soviet art during the Cold War and to promote concerts and music editions.
- Dmitri Smirnow: Drafts for an autobiography ( Memento from June 23, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) on the composer's website (1996, Russian), accessed on May 6, 2018
- Andreas Kloth (2009): The Russian composer Vjačeslav Artëmov: An example of the politically and socially conditioned reception of non-conformist Soviet composers. The blue owl, food. ISBN 3-89924-244-0 . Pp. 101-118