Thursday, November 13, 2008
Shostakovich Symphony No. 5 - Yevgeny Mravinsky
"Dmitri Shostakovich wrote his Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47, between April and July 1937. It was premiered in Leningrad by the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra under Yevgeny Mravinsky, on November 21, 1937. The work was a huge success, and is said to have received an ovation of at least 40 minutes, according to Mstislav Rostropovich. It is still one of his most popular works."
Here is a good paper written about the 5th Symphony. I have included a brief quote from that paper.
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5 in D Minor
"The third movement is one of the most despairing pieces of music ever written, a memorial for Mother Russia and all those sent to the labor camps. And of the finale, Shostakovich wrote in his memoirs (smuggled out of Russia after the composer's death):
What exultation could there be? I think it is clear to everyone what happens in the Fifth. The rejoicing is forced, created under threat... It's as if someone were beating you with a stick and saying ``Your business is rejoicing, your business is rejoicing,'' and you rise, shaky, and go marching off, muttering, ``Our business is rejoicing, our business is rejoicing.'' What kind of apotheosis is that? You have to be a complete oaf not to hear that."
- Geoff Kuenning