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Nikolaj Mjaskowski’s Symphony No. 7 awakens many associations among listeners: the rare violin solos are reminiscent of Karol Szymanowski, a short passage recalls Bartók’s Duke Bluebeard’s Castle, while two agitated, dramatic passages evoke The Miraculous Mandarin. As the ballet was written sometime later, it begs the question as to whether Bartók could have heard Mjaskowski’s music or if it was – as is more probable – pure coincidence. Fleeting echoes of Russian folk melodies add a richness to the scene. On the whole, however, Symphony No. 7 is a highly dramatic piece of music with few moments of calm; it could even be programme music.