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What does this symphony mean?

Shostakovich's 'Leningrad',
heard by GIUSEPPE PENNISI

 

'What does this symphony mean?' A few years ago, Andrew Huth, music critic of The Guardian, raised this quite pertinent question in his commentary on Dmitry Shostakovich's Seventh Symphony in C major Op 60, generally called the 'Leningrad Symphony'. Reportedly, the symphony's composition was begun in Leningrad during the siege of the city (between September 1941 and February 1943) when nearly 630,000 people died of hunger and cold or in the shelling of constant air raids. Shostakovich volunteered to serve, as a fireman, in the defense of the city until, like many other artists, he was evacuated first to Moscow then to Kuibyshev; there the Symphony was completed and had its first performance on 5 March 1942 by the evacuated Bolshoi orchestra under Samuel Samosud's baton; the Moscow premiere followed on 29 March and in the besieged Leningrad the symphony was played on 9 August. Thereafter, it was played all over the Soviet Union...

Copyright © 10 November 2010 Giuseppe Pennisi,
Rome, Italy

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DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH

IGOR STRAVINSKY

ROME

ACCADEMIA NAZIONALE DI SANTA CECILIA

ORCHESTRAL MUSIC

ITALY

RUSSIA

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