Upon Vienna’s liberation, the quickly restored Austro-Soviet Society was equally quick to find out that the demand for Russian music far outweighed any interest in So-viet Communism. In a burnt-out Vienna, sheet music was a valuable commodity, and generous Soviet imports were influential in shaping early post-war repertoires. How-ever, Austrian interpretations often differed from Soviet expectations, showing Austri-ans’ anti-communism and, at the same time, facilitating a long-term cultural rap-prochement. Contrary to assumptions of music’s non-verbal nature, the narrative was no less important than sound, since it addressed not only the emotional sphere, but also music’s implications on the issues of (inter/trans-) nationality, identity and other-ness, its socially accepted aesthetic canons, conditions of production and consump-tion (perception), and the relative power ("savoir-pouvoir") position of various cultural actors. Imprinting on the cultural discourse(s) of a country whose nation-building pro-ject was centered on music provided for an unlikely, yet surprisingly harmonious in-teraction of two societies that were ideologically opposed, yet converged on common ideas about cultural capital and prestige.
Keywords: Musical diplomacy, intermediality, Soviet propaganda, occupied Austria, cultural trans-ferts, cultural diplomacy