Prokofiev composed his Anniversary Cantata for the Twentieth of October in order to win favor with Soviet cultural officials. However, his decision to set authentic texts by Lenin, Marx, and Stalin, together with his decision to edit these texts to ensure musical cohesion, proved to be highly controversial. In 1937, the cantata came in for harsh criticism from the watchdog Committee of Artistic Affairs and was barred from performance. Prokofiev responded to the setback by retooling his creative methods and by composing a Party-line paean to Stalin.
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