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Shostakovich Symphony No.5

In 1937, Soviet Union was engulfed in political repression. Following the condemnation of his opera "Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District", Shostakovich embarked on a composition aimed at both appeasing the masses and aligning with Soviet sentiments – a perilous time when artists risked disappearance if their work fell out of favour with government authorities.

According to Shostakovich, many people wept openly at the Symphony No. 5 premiere because they grasped the music's message. Authorities did not oppose contradictions in music. However, these contradictions were required to be resolved by the final movement.

It is only in the final movement that a semblance of a positive conclusion arises, characterized by a march-like theme hinting at progress. Nevertheless, this conclusion bears a profoundly ironic tone. Shostakovich later likened the ending to someone beating you with a stick, insisting: "You must rejoice! You must rejoice!"

Text by: Deyun Lin/Licha Stelaus Productions

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Disclaimer: We are fans of great sound and music. We are not agent nor presenter of musicians featured on this post. We do not own the photos and videos in this blog - Licha Stelaus Productions


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