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Four Steps to the New World
Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony
Concerts for students. Interesting facts and mysteries of the great works of famous composers. This time the topic is the symphony, a Greek word (συμφωνία) that means “sounding together”. Audio and video examples will be used, along with an accompanying brochure.
In late January 1936 an unsigned article appeared in the Soviet newspaper Pravda with the title Muddle instead of Music. It described Shostakovich’s music as being against the Soviet people. There is speculation that Stalin wrote it himself. This was something like a death sentence. During the years that followed, the composer was living in constant fear that he would be arrested and either be sent to the Gulag or be shot (at that time, Stalin’s terror had led to the imprisonment or death of many of the composer’s relatives and friends). Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony was premiered in 1937. The critics took the work as the composer’s reaction to “just criticism”. But isn’t this composition about something completely different?
Czech Student Philharmonic
(players of the Czech Philharmonic, members of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestral Academy and music school students)