Guest conductor Christian Arming leads the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and welcomes composer/pianist Conrad Tao, the 23-year-old YouTube, Tumblr and Twitter sensation, and one of the most exciting players of his generation, in Shostakovich's virtuosic Piano Concerto No. 8 p.m. Jan. 17 Additional performance at 8 p.m. Jan. 19. Imagine it as a symphony reflecting any people persevering in the face of adversity, and it becomes a work with universal appeal. In this form, it was then smuggled to Iran, driven to Egypt, and flown via South America to the U.S., where Toscanini and the NBC Symphony gave it an American premiere on July 19, 1942. The symphony was finished there and premiered with a gathering of the composer’s colleagues on March 5, 1942. Interested in participating in the Publishing Partner Program? Moderato (poco allegretto) ∙III. The generally flowing spirit of the opening pages yields to increasing restlessness and anxiety, verging on desperation. 7, the so-called "Leningrad" Symphony in a live recording from February 2016 with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by … Petrasek, who joined the ASO in 2017, unpacked a tight, militant drumroll, maintaining precision for more than 10 minutes while the ensemble played a commanding, strident melody, ad nauseam. Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 60. The second movement (Moderato - Poco allegretto) begins with the second violins, whose theme gradually reappears elsewhere in the orchestra in layers of counterpoint. 7 in C major, Op. Shostakovich’s symphony can get very loud, and here ASO music director Robert Spano controlled the orchestra, making all those screaming instrumental voices sound pleasant and in balance. 7 enjoyed a measure of popularity throughout the Western world during the war, but from 1945 it was rarely performed outside the Soviet Union. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Starting in a stage whisper and ascending to nearly ear-splitting levels (the musicians onstage were hopefully wearing earplugs), the stentorian figure passed through all sections of the orchestra, in varying dynamic levels, until it became one, large, roaring cry for … well, it’s hard to know exactly. Shostakovich: Symphony No. Opening in a subdued fashion, it gradually builds in determination with a renewed march mood. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, Leningrad Symphony No. Although these articles may currently differ in style from others on the site, they allow us to provide wider coverage of topics sought by our readers, through a diverse range of trusted voices. View credits, reviews, tracks and shop for the CD release of Shostakovich: Symphony No. In the meantime, more information about the article and the author can be found by clicking on the author’s name. 60: ‘Leningrad’ Check out Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos.1 & 7 "Leningrad" by Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Leonard Bernstein on Amazon Music. Questions or concerns? of often leaden, banal, rhetorically inflated music, among the least inspired that Shostakovich ever put into a major symphony. Established in 1945, performs 200 concerts annually at Atlanta Symphony Hall as well as around Georgia and internationally. In the development, war bursts into the peaceful life of these people. The 7th symphony is one of Shostakovich's "great" symphonies. As for the composer himself, he was unable to attend the American performance in person, but was there in spirit, on the cover of Time magazine, with a photograph of him in fire-fighting gear. Few important compositions ever been performed under quite so trying circumstances as Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. When, in the first movement, the woodwind brigade emerges to playfully contrast the stoic opening string melody, the section really never leaves the limelight. During the concert, empty chairs were placed in the orchestra to represent musicians who had perished before the performance could be given. Symphony Hall, 1280 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta. 7. Betsy Schwarm is a music historian based in Colorado. Find many great new & used options and get the best deals for Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No. Check out all the great things to do in Atlanta! 7. Articles such as this one were acquired and published with the primary aim of expanding the information on Britannica.com with greater speed and efficiency than has traditionally been possible. Shostakovich’s unique style often makes this question impossible to answer. Sections for history, chorus, youth symphony, conductors, program schedules, financial support, ticket sales. Performed with guest cellist Johannes Moser, the meditations are at times spirited and avant-garde, and Moser amiably played through these spindly and disjointed bits of music. “Neither savage raids, German planes, nor the grim atmosphere of the beleaguered city could hinder the flow,” he recalled. This is a great reading of the 7th symphony. By Dmitri Shostakovich Russian Philharmonic Orchestra. While the 69-minute symphony can seem overlong, and the writing a bit sluggish in parts, Spano and company maintained direction throughout and kept a quick pace, refusing to get bogged down in the composition. He began work on his Seventh Symphony in the first hot days of July. He composed his Symphony No. Hey, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra: "Give the drummer some!". The Russian military officer in command of defense forces released any soldier who could play an orchestral instrument reasonably well long enough for the performance, which was transmitted by loudspeakers around the perimeter of the city, both to hearten the Russian people and to make the point to the Germans that surrender was not at hand. This contribution has not yet been formally edited by Britannica. Then in a burst of foresight, Shostakovich arranged for the score to be microfilmed. Shostakovich Under Stalin's Shadow- Sym Nos. The ASO is as good soft as it is loud, and Spano knows how to make the orchestra respond instantaneously to his simplest or his most exaggerated gestures. Although it set out to reflect a particular time and place, one can also perceive it in broader terms. A melancholy theme heard first in the flute grows and evolves as it moves to other instruments. 7, is indeed a work of heroic scope, roughly an hour in length and with an orchestra well supplied with additional winds and percussion. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. 7 in C Major, Op. Thursday's program began with the cello-driven "Three Meditations From 'Mass'" by Leonard Bernstein, a concert-hall reworking of music from the composer's long-form, quasi-sacred work. At the time, the 35-year-old Shostakovich was head of the Leningrad Conservatoire’s piano department. 7 in C Major, Op. Updates? 7 "Leningrad" Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra Vladimir Fedoseyev (conductor) Support this site by purchasing from these vendors using the links provided below. The ultimate horror is, in fact, that nobody will ever know. 1. Symphony No. Yet Shostakovich's own intentions for the piece remain enigmatic, despite his stated purpose that it represents Russian resistance in the face of Nazi aggression. For as much force is generated by the inflated brass section, much of the "Leningrad" symphony really is a showcase for ASO's woodwinds. But on Thursday night, principal percussionist Joseph Petrasek drew the focus during the opening movement of Symphony No. 7, is indeed a work of heroic scope, roughly an hour in length and with an orchestra well supplied with additional winds and percussion. Although he had begun the work in Leningrad the previous summer, that winter, Shostakovich and other prominent cultural resources of the nation had been forcibly evacuated for their own protection, sent to Kuybyshev in the Volga. Corrections? Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). 7 Resistance The lowest estimate for the number of Soviet people murdered for political reasons between 1928 and 1941 is 7.9 million. The procession, more sardonic than grim, is interrupted at times by outbursts of brass. Shostakovich: Symphony 7, Leningrad Dimitry Shostakovich (Composer), Yvgeny Mravinsky (Conductor), Leningrad Philharmonic (Orchestra) & 0 more Format: Audio CD 4.2 out of 5 stars 14 ratings The ASO performed another Bernstein re-composition — "Symphonic Dances From 'West Side Story'" — last week. Always one of the most popular of Dmitry Shostakovich's symphonies, the Symphony No. Conductor Vasily Petrenko explores the Leningrad Symphony, as heard at the BBC Proms this evening The earth-shattering passages are set up brilliantly by the incredible warmth and near-stillness of certain passages. A short spotlight for oboe adds further color to the textures, which until that point had largely been focused upon strings. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. The best version of the 7th may be Mravinsky's mono version, but the sound and mastery of … 60, "Leningrad": I. Allegretto. Although it set out to reflect a particular time and place, one can also perceive it in broader terms. Shostakovich's Symphony No. Stream ad-free or purchase CD's and MP3s now on Amazon.com. 1. ASO music director Robert Spano conducts the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and guest artist Johannes Moser at Symphony Hall. The instruments sound crisp and the playing is lively. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Brass and percussion bring a measure of even greater anguish as the movement progresses, though it will close with a return to the weary sorrows with which it had begun. 7 (1941) in beleaguered Leningrad during the latter part of that year and finished it in Kuybyshev (now Samara), to which he and his family had been evacuated. The jury’s still out on whether Shostakovich’s symphony, which premiered in 1942, should be known as a groundswell of Russian nationalism and propaganda written at the height of the World War II, a general commentary on the evils of fascism (here’s looking at you, Stalin), or simply, as American critic Virgil Thompson put it upon first hearing the work, music “written for the slow-witted, the not very musical and the distracted.” One thing is for sure: The anti-war message at the heart of this martial, substantive symphony certainly isn’t subtle. Shostakovich’s symphony can get very loud, and here ASO music director Robert Spano controlled the orchestra, making all those screaming instrumental voices sound pleasant and in balance. That Leningrad performance had not been the symphony’s first hearing. In the orchestral world, unlike the funk atmosphere inhabited by James Brown when he uttered that familiar phrase, well-worn repertoire doesn't usually highlight the percussion section. It became a point of controversy in the 1980s after Solomon Volkov's Testimony suggested it was a critique not of the Nazis, but of the Soviet government. Bernstein conducts with such care and sensitivity that he finds emotional validity in the stiffest passages. The Seventh Symphony was highly regarded in the Soviet Union as a statement of the suffering and deaths attributed to Nazis and the resilience of its citizens. “The exposition of the first movement … is the simple, peaceful life lived before the war by thousands of Leningrad militiamen, by the whole city, by our country. 7 in C major was premiered in 1942 and used as propaganda for the Soviet effort in World War II. $28-$98. I. Allegretto ∙II. 8 on Discogs. 6 & 7 [2 CD] by Andris Nelsons/Boston Symphony Orchestra Audio CD $20.11 In Stock. So long had the city been under siege that several orchestra members had succumbed to famine during the rehearsal period, and the ensemble, finding itself short of players, put out a call for help. He does not label the third movement (Adagio) a “funeral march,” but it is essentially that, with grim opening chords, despairing string lines, and a distant march beat developing. 7 "Leningrad" by Dmitri Shostakovich. The opening Allegretto movement sets powerful themes in contrast to gentler ones, the latter particularly for flute. Add to your wish list | library . Setting the march energy aside temporarily, Shostakovich brings in mournful themes for strings and an extended solo for bassoon, before closing the movement with a distant recollection of the martial theme. It is impossible to deny the overwhelming impact Shostakovich's Symphony No. As the close of the movement approaches, Shostakovich gives a prolonged solo to the oft-neglected bass clarinet, its low and somber voice contrasting nicely with the bassoon, which had been featured late in the first movement. Not only was Europe at war, but the German army stood at the gates of Leningrad. Five months later, it would be given in the city whose name it bore under highly dramatic circumstances; the work would come to stand for Russian courage in the face of crisis and still is imagined to represent survival against difficult odds. THE MUSIC In 1941, Shostakovich commented on his symphony in the periodical Sovetskoye iskusstvo (Soviet Art). From either perspective, it is not exactly an optimistic work. Mark’s notes on Shostakovich Symphony No. Written by Shostakovich after he had been transported out of his besieged hometown of Leningrad, the Seventh is a patriotic hymn to his city and country and a rallying cry to the foes of fascism Get Robert Langdon in. It is still not quite music of victory, but at least of survival. The work achieved a quick fame, as much because of the … This is also a symphony of ciphers and melodic codes, perhaps most notably the DSCH motif which represents the composer’s name, constantly reappearing among other symbols and ciphers. Of course, these woodwinds can only really be heard in the soft sections — except for the aggressively insistent E-Flat clarinet, played with buoyant joy by Ted Gurch, that bounds over the orchestral fray, leading the way with its thrillingly, pinch-toned timbre that is both toylike and filled with authority. Throughout, the Atlanta Symphony play with stunning concentration and ensemble playing that obviously is deeply felt. These articles have not yet undergone the rigorous in-house editing or fact-checking and styling process to which most Britannica articles are customarily subjected. Shostakovich used the Seventh Symphony to portray images of both the events occurring around the World War II siege of Leningrad and his view of the Stalin regime. 1 & 7 Leningrad: Chicago MUSIC AUDIO CD 2-Disc at the best online … The incredible live performance of the Chicago Symphony-playing Shostakovich 7 with Leonard Berstein, 1989 The last movement (Allegro non troppo) may be a vision of ultimate victory. So the Leningrad performance was its third hearing, though the first in the city for which it was named. 7 in C, Op. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Some people claim that Stalin was responsible for as many as three times that number of deaths. 60, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Leningrad-Symphony-No-7, AllMusic - Symphony No. This is all the more amazing because the Seventh contains 74 min. CONTRIBUTED BY JEFF ROFFMAN. Shostakovich said that the 7th and 8th Symphonies constituted his "requiem," and indeed in this performance one plumbs depths of despair that Shostakovich had not approached since writing his 4th Symphony. 7 had on its listeners in 1942. Omissions? Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony No. The first movement was actually written in Leningrad (now again St. Petersburg) when the city was surrounded and besieged by Nazi-German troops. It is not the despairing march of the Adagio, but rather one of firm resolution, as if to remind listeners of the forces lurking outside the city gates. Soviet authorities were quick to declare the symphony a musical depiction of heroic military actions, though Shostakovich himself asserted that it was more emotional than pictorial. After his evacuation to Moscow, Shostakovich finished the symphony, and its first performace was celebrated enthusiastically. Oboist Elizabeth Koch Tiscione and English horn player Emily Brebach both excelled in solo passages, as did bass clarinetist Alcides Rodriguez and bassoonist Andrew Brady. 60, symphony by Dmitry Shostakovich, known as “Leningrad.” The work premiered informally on March 5, 1942, at a rural retreat by the Volga, where the composer and many of his colleagues were seeking refuge from World War II. See the famous Harlem Globetrotters, head to the Atlanta Braves Chop Fest, and more! A guide to Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 404-733-5000, atlantasymphony.org. The recording is as good as the 4th symphony, which Maestro Gergiev conducted with this orchestra. Poignant passages appear, suggestive of remembered losses, though the last few minutes—built upon a repeating rhythmic fragment in the strings—brings back the firm energy of earlier pages. Adagio -- Largo -- Moderato risoluto -- Largo -- Adagio ∙IV. A distant march develops, complete with snare drum, and growing gradually more fearsome. 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