Wednesday Music: Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7

It’s still Wednesday where I live, so I feel justified in calling this a Wednesday Music post. I know a lot of my European and Asian readers will read this on Thursday, but better late than never, right?

I chose today’s piece, one I am not very familiar with, because of its historical significance. You see, today, June 22, is the day that Hitler invaded the Soviet Union with Operation Barbarossa. Though he did not know it at the time, it was the beginning of the end of Nazi Germany. At first, the Germans made great headway against the Soviets, but the tide eventually turned against them.

Anyway, enough history. Here’s a bit about the piece, Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7 in C major, Op. 60.

  • Initially, this piece was dedicated to Lenin, but Shostakovich decided to dedicate it to the city of Leningrad (modern-day St. Petersburg) after the war broke out. It was a very popular piece in the Soviet Union and became known as a symbol of resistance against the Nazis.
  • The piece is in four movements and is Shostakovich’s longest. It takes a whopping hour and fifteen minutes to perform. I’ll understand if you don’t want to listen to entire recording I have below. 🙂
  • The symphony is frequently played at the cemetery where victims of the Siege of Leningrad are buried. The siege lasted nine hundred days and over a million civilians died as a result.

And on that somber note… here’s a recording of the piece. As you can see, it is quite long!

Or click here to see on YouTube.