Skip to Main Content

David Dalle
Thursday September 7th, 2017 with David Dalle
Shostakovich and joyful resistance: his 9th symphony

Shostakovich's 9th symphony was his 3rd wartime symphony, composed during the summer of 1945. A "9th" symphony in popular classical conscience has tremendous expectations due to the legacy of Beethoven's 9th. The shadow of Beethoven's 9th looms larger than probably any other piece of music, and titanic for symphonies, e.g. great symphonists such as Bruckner and Mahler were deeply affected. So Shostakovich's 9th came as a shock. Many were expecting a massive and profound apotheosis, concluding his two preceding epic wartime symphonies. But instead Shostakovich wrote a short symphony, full of lightness and joy, which despite still using a large orchestra, sounds like a much smaller one with Shostakovich's skillful and subtle orchestration. Some of his contemporaries on hearing it immediately compared it with Mozart and Haydn symphonies. Though being Shostakovich, there are still moments of gloom in its 5 movements, but in stark contrast to the tragic and bleak 7th and 8th symphonies (and many other of his works), it is a piece of almost unrelenting cheer. Shostakovich's 9th symphony angered Stalin, who expected and wanted the apotheosis to demonstrate Soviet greatness and might in its victory over Nazi Germany. The symphony quickly dropped from performance and was banned in 1948, lasting until 1955 after Stalin's death. We hear another great compatriot and contemporary of Shostakovich conducting, Rudolf Barshai, who in his long career lived some time in Canada, where he was director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra from 1985-1988. We hear him in a recording with the VSO from 1988.
Before we get to the Shostakovich, an hour long journey starting with a brass band in Sicily, through Armenian and Serbian party music, African-Cuban collaboration, Senegal, Mali, Madagascar, Columbia, and ending full circle with another Italian brass band.
Intro Espinita
Banda Ionica - Matri Mia - Dunya
Banda Ionica - Matri Mia - Dunya
Alli da Yemenim
Richard Hagopian - Kef Time Detroit - Traditional Crossroads
Zajkova igra
Boban Markovic Orkestar - Millennium - X Produkcio
Disko - dzumbus
Boban Markovic Orkestar - Millennium - X Produkcio
Bogne Sirala
Africando - Ketukuba - Stern's
Orchestra Baobab - Tribute to Ndiouga Dieng - World Circuit/Nonesuch
Kasse Mady Diabate - Kassi Kasse - Corason
Minta Waraba
Oumou Sangare - Mogoya - No Format
Kilema feat. Regis Gizavo - Ka Malisa - Iris Musique
Hainao Moa
Toko Telo - Toy Raha Toy - Anio Records New
Pedazo de acordeon
Ivo Diaz, Orangel Maestre - Ayombe: The Heart of Columbia's Musica Vallenata - Smithsonian Folkways
La Banda Improvvisa - Pratomagno Social Club - Materiali Sonori
Symphony No. 9 in E flat Op. 70
Dmitri Shostakovich/Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Rudolf Barshai - Symphonies 1 & 9 - CBC Canadian
Ashkhabad - City of Love - Real World
Varttina - Aitara - North Side
Outona omilla mailla
Varttina - Aitara - North Side
Interactive CKCU