Russian composer Dmitri Kabalevsky based his 1938 opera Colas Breugnon, The Master of Clemency, on French author Romain Rolland’s novel of the same name. Rolland, despite granting Kabalevsky free interpretive reign regarding the story, expressed disappointment at the libretto. This is perhaps due to the fact that Colas is set in Burgundy, France, and some of the ideals set forth in the novel would not have been accepted by the Soviet Communist Party. In stark contrast to the contrived political ambiguity of Dmitri Shostakovich, Kabalevsky was a member of the Communist Party beginning in 1940 and remained a loyal member throughout his career. With that, his music conformed to the standards set by the party and was aimed at the broad appeal to the masses through use of folk (or folk-like) tunes, major keys, etc. Some of the folk aspects are French influenced as opposed to being Russian and simply superimposed on a different location.
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