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Shostakovich’s 7th symphony ‘Leningrader’ will be performed with a full orchestra in Brandenburg

At the time of the corona pandemic, it is already worth reporting if a large symphony is performed if all protective measures are observed.

The Brandenburg State Orchestra Frankfurt will play Symphony No. 7 “Leningrader” op. 60 by Dmitri Shostakovich on September 19, 2020 in Frankfurt/Oder and on September 25, 2020 in Seelow under the direction of Jörg-Peter Weigle.

Still before the outbreak of the Second World War, Dmitri Shostakovich had announced a symphony ”in memory of Lenin“ on 20 November 1938 in the newspaper ”Soviet Art“. He intended at that time to create, with his Symphony No. 6, a four-movement work with choir and solo voice to texts by Maya-kovsky, Djambul and Stalsky.

But things turned out differently, for instead of a monumental and heroic symphony, Shostakovich wrote a symphony without a programme and not based on any text. It was not the first time, and would not be the last, that Shostakovich consciously left unfulfilled the expectations of his listeners and fellow countrymen. After the ”Lenin Symphony“ that became something else, the composer started writing Symphony No. 7 during the late summer of the war year 1941; it was to bear the epithet ”Leningrad“.

Shostakovich was in Leningrad when he worked on this symphony, whilst bombs were falling and the Russian air defence was getting into position. In October 1941 Shostakovich and his family were flown out of Leningrad, which had been surround-ed by German and Finnish troops since 8 September 1941.

One year later, Shostakovich wrote retrospectively in Pravda (29 March 1942): ”I wanted to create a work about our people who are becoming heroes, who fight in the name of victory against the enemy ... During work on the new symphony, I thought about the greatness of our Soviet people, about their heroism, about the magnificent humanistic ideas and values of the people, about our splendid nature, about hu-manity and beauty ... To our struggle against Fascism, our certain victory over the enemy, to my native city of Leningrad I dedicate my 7th Symphony.“

19.09.2020 Frankfurt/Oder, exhibition hall
09/25/2020 Seelow, Seelower Höhen
Dmitri Shostakovich:
Symphony No. 7 “Leningrader” op. 60
Orchestra: Brandenburg State Orchestra Frankfurt
Direction: Jörg-Peter Weigle

Photo: Winfried Mausolf

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