Dmitri Shostakovich in his works

Dmitri Shostakovich in his works
  • Dmitri Shostakovich
    Symphony No. 9 in E flat major, op. 70 (30 min.)

    Berliner Philharmoniker

    Kirill Petrenko

  • Dmitri Shostakovich
    Symphony No. 1 in F minor, op. 10 (40 min.)

    Berliner Philharmoniker

    Paavo Järvi

  • Dmitri Shostakovich
    Concerto for Cello and Orchestra No. 1 in E flat major, op. 107 (32 min.)

    Berliner Philharmoniker

    Semyon Bychkov

    Gautier Capuçon Cello

  • Dmitri Shostakovich
    Symphony No. 5 in D minor, op. 47 (52 min.)

    Berliner Philharmoniker

    Tugan Sokhiev

  • Dmitri Shostakovich
    Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No. 1 in A minor, op. 99 (op. 77) (41 min.)

    Berliner Philharmoniker

    Mariss Jansons

    Hilary Hahn Violin

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    Dmitri Shostakovich
    The Golden Age, ballet suite, op. 22a (18 min.)

    Berliner Philharmoniker

    Sir Simon Rattle

  • Dmitri Shostakovich
    Symphony No. 15 in A major, op. 141 (55 min.)

    Berliner Philharmoniker

    Bernard Haitink

The balance in Dmitri Shostakovich’s life between recognition and threats from the state was always precarious. On the one hand, the international fame of the composer, who was awarded numerous prestigious prizes, was exploited to the full; on the other hand, he was repeatedly reprimanded by the cultural bureaucracy. For example, the artist had to reckon with his arrest every day after an article against the opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk was published in Pravda.

While some of Shostakovich’s works gathered dust, others were banned for years – and the Tenth Symphony wasn’t premiered until after Stalin’s death. But even officially acclaimed compositions are marked by a deep ambivalence. Shostakovich said about the supposedly triumphant finale of his Fifth Symphony that this is how the cheers of people sound who are threatened with the cudgel. Ever since the Berliner Philharmoniker presented the German premiere of this symphony in 1946 under the baton of Sergiu Celibidache, the music of the Russian composer has been an integral part of the orchestra’s programmes. However, while Herbert von Karajan exclusively conducted the Tenth, and Claudio Abbado only included a few of the composer’s works in his repertoire, Shostakovich is close to the heart for the Philharmoniker’s current chief conductor Kirill Petrenko. In the autumn of 2020, he presented the Eighth and Ninth Symphonies in rapid succession.

Our playlist contains symphonic main works as well as two solo concertos and, with the ballet suite The Golden Age, shows that Shostakovich also skilfully mastered the tone of sophisticated light music.