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Symphony No. 7 in C Major, Op. 60 “Leningrad” - Detroit Symphony ...

Symphony No. 7 in C Major, Op. 60 “Leningrad” - Detroit Symphony ...

Symphony No. 7 in C Major, Op. 60 “Leningrad” - Detroit Symphony

Symphony No. 7 in C Major, Op. 60 “Leningrad”DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICHB: September 25, 1906, Saint Petersburg, RussiaD: August 9, 1975, Moscow, RussiaDedicated to the City of Leningrad and largely composed within the besieged city as apatriotic response to the Nazi invasion in 1941, it was enthusiastically embraced withinthe Soviet Union, but quickly dismissed and even ridiculed in the West.Scored for three flutes (second doubling alto flute, third doubling piccolo), two oboes,English horn, three clarinets, (third doubling E-flat clarinet), bass clarinet, twobassoons, contrabassoon, eight horns, six trumpets, six trombones, tuba, timpani, twoharps, bass drum, cymbals, field drum, tam tam, tambourine, triangle, xylophone, pianoand strings (approx. 70 minutes).Seven of Shostakovich’s 15 symphonies carried overt references to the turmoilsurrounding war and revolution in the history of the Soviet Union. The composer’stortured personal relationship with Soviet artistic policy often seeped through the pagesof his eight other symphonies. Not since Mahler and Joachim Raff was symphonic formso heavily involved with events and ideas beyond and outside the abstract realm ofinstrumental tone and musical themes that are the basis of the symphonic principle.In the case of Shostakovich, the meaning and intrinsic value in his symphonies arefurther obscured because of public rebukes he suffered under the regime of Josef Stalin,as well as the concomitant demands that he hew to populist artistic expressions of Sovietrealism. Conflicting statements he occasionally made about the nature of these worksand other statements attributed to him in the controversial memoir published by SolomonVolkov after his death have also confused those issues.The first three movements of the Seventh Symphony were composed inLeningrad, beginning in July 1941, and the fourth movement was completed thefollowing December in Kuibyshev, the temporary wartime Soviet capital on the banks ofthe Volga River. The Bolshoi Theater Orchestra gave the premiere there on March 5,1942. The work was then performed in Moscow. Microfilm of the score was finallysmuggled into Leningrad, where a sadly depleted Leningrad Radio Symphony defiantlyperformed the work on August 9, 1942.Sir Henry Wood conducted the symphony’s London premiere in June 1942.Ernest Newman of the London Times, however, quickly dismissed the work’s value. Themicrofilmed score finally reached New York via a circuitous route through the MiddleEast. Arturo Toscanini passionately conducted its American premiere with the NBCSymphony in July 1942. This led the way for dozens of American performances over thenext year. However, the symphony’s popularity soon evaporated and in 1943, BélaBartók delivered a coup de grâce with his satirical trombone parody of its first-movementmarch tune in the “Interrupted Intermezzo” movement of his Concerto for Orchestra.The Seventh Symphony is the first of Shostakovich’s truly long symphonies, castin a discursive Mahlerian mode. The experience of hearing these symphonies is likePDF created with FinePrint pdfFactory trial version http://www.pdffactory.com

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