Shostakovich Symphony No. 11 ‘The Year 1905′ — Oundjian/Toronto Symphony Orchestra/tsoLive – by Anthony Kershaw

Shostokovich’s Symphony No. 11 was written in 1957 and was conceived as a populist piece, the type of Soviet composition that wins Lenin Prizes, which it did a year after the premiere.

The symphony is subtitled ‘The Year 1905′, the year Russians had their first crack at revolution. It failed spectacularly, with many thousands of deaths at the hands of the Romanovs. Shostakovich’s symphony tells this tale in four continuous movements using revolutionary and prison songs as its thematic base. The symphony rocks between mystery and violence, both of which Shostakovich replicates so brilliantly in sound.


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