Dmitry Shostakovich Complete Symphonies Vol. 5: Symphony No. 13

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Album Name Length Format Sample Rate Price
Dmitry Shostakovich Complete Symphonies Vol. 5: Symphony No. 13 41:06 $17.98
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# Track Title Length Format Sample Rate Price
1 Symphony No. 13 "Babi Yar" in B flat minor op. 113: Babi Yar / Babi Jar. Adagio 11:07 88/24 Album only
2 Symphony No. 13 "Babi Yar" in B flat minor op. 113: Humour / Der Humor. Allegretto 6:07 $2.49 Buy
3 Symphony No. 13 "Babi Yar" in B flat minor op. 113: At the Store / Im Geschaft. Adagio 8:12 88/24 Album only
4 Symphony No. 13 "Babi Yar" in B flat minor op. 113: Fears / angste. Largo 7:31 88/24 Album only
5 Symphony No. 13 "Babi Yar" in B flat minor op. 113: Career / Karriere. Allegretto 8:09 88/24 Album only

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Major Project
The "major discographic project" (FonoForum) continues. On Vol. 5 of the complete symphonies of Dmitry Shostakovich the magnificent Beethoven Orchestra of Bonn under its general music director Roman Kofman presents a highly political work. The Symphony No. 13 for bass, male chorus, and orchestra from 1963 commemorates the incredible atrocities committed by German fascists during World War II against the Jews of Babi Yar in Kiev.

Poetic Inspiration
For Shostakovich the Symphony No. 13 was a "civic action" and even a "feat of heroism." In the first movement he was inspired by the poem "Babi Yar" by Yevgeni Yevtushenko, a poet whom he greatly admired. Given the new anti-Semitic currents in the Soviet Union, the authorities must have viewed his work as an affront.

Freedom of Speech
Impressed by such "ethical poetic art," Shostakovich also based the four other movements of his symphony on poems by his favorite author. The texts express the universal desire for freedom of speech - a daring statement, even during the times of Khrushchev's politics of thaw.

Obstacle Course
Shostakovich assigns the tragic part to the male chorus. While the soloist (Taras Shtonda) is allowed to shine, the singers (the outstanding Czech Philharmonic Chorus of Brno) are denied the bright colors of the music. They play the role of the Jews of Kiev. In their portrayal some critics detected allusions to Stalin's mass murders. It is thus not surprising that the symphony met with obstacles on the way to its premiere.


Personal Significance
With his Shostakovich cycle Roman Kofman has "scored a genuine success" as Klassik.com jubilated while predicting "Perhaps in twenty years most conductors will interpret Shostakovich in comparable fashion." Since Roman Kofman was born in Kiev seventy years ago, it is only natural that the score has a very special personal significance for him.