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|by Dmitri Shostakovich|
Shostakovich in 1950
12 January 1989
The Little Antiformalistic Paradise (Russian: Антиформалистический раёк, sometimes translated literally as "Antiformalist Rayok", also known as simply Rayok, The Peep-show, Little Paradise, The Gods and A Learner's Manual), without opus number, is a satirical cantata for four voices, chorus and piano by Dmitri Shostakovich. Its title derives from Modest Mussorgsky's work Rayok. It ridicules the Zhdanov decree of 1948 and the anti-formalism campaign in Soviet arts which followed it, and includes quotations from speeches by Zhdanov and a quotation from "Suliko" (Joseph Stalin's favourite song).
The date of the work is uncertain: according to the composer's friend Isaak Glikman and the Shostakovich family, it was begun in 1948, with further revisions in 1957 and the late 1960s. Another friend, Lev Lebedinsky, claims that the whole work dates from 1957 and that he rather than Shostakovich wrote the libretto.
During the composer's lifetime, the work was performed only for family and close friends. It did not receive its first public performance until 12 January 1989 under Mstislav Rostropovich.
- Lebedinsky, Lev (June 1990). "The Origin of Shostakovich's 'Rayok'". Tempo (173): 31–32.