Shostakovich’s music continues to probe and provoke. Is his music encoded with secret meaning? Can a symphony be an act of civil disobedience?
The audience at the Leningrad premiere of Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony in 1937 heard something profoundly true about their lives. Things that could not be expressed in words for fear of reprisal or simply because no words exist. The Symphony was met with a 40-minute ovation.
The Fifth Symphony pivots between defiance and despair, unspeakable tragedy and rebellious celebration. It is a virtuoso orchestral showpiece and a solemn memorial. Australian-born conductor Alexander Briger reveals the contradictions, the irony, and the drama that colours Shostakovich’s masterpiece.
This fascinating work is a lasting testament to the resilience of the human spirit in even the darkest of times, and the power of music to unite and heal.