Tchaikovsky: Serenade for Strings in C major, op. 48
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 13 (“Babi Yar”), op. 113
National Philharmonic Orchestra
Michail Jurowski, conductor
Premičred in 1962, Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13 is difficult to classify generically as it could also be described as a song cycle or cantata: each of the five movements is a setting of a poem by Yevgeny Yevtushenko to music. It gained its distinctive name Babi Yar from the poem of the same name written in memory of the approximately 34,000 Ukrainian Jews murdered during a 1941 pogrom at the location near Kiev, which begins with the line: “No monument stands over Babi Yar.” Through the poems it contains, the music focuses not only on Soviet anti-Semitism, but on other aspects of life in the Soviet Union (Humour, In the Store, Fears, and Career). This was the sharpest criticism of the existing regime Shostakovich would express publicly in his lifetime – and it caused him no little inconvenience.
Bartók Béla National Concert Hall Website
Detailed schedule information: