Symphony No. 8 (Shostakovich) by Dmitri Shostakovich

Summary

'''Symphony No. 8 in C minor''' (Opus 65) by Dmitri Shostakovich was written in the summer of 1943, and first performed on November 4 of that year by the USSR Symphony Orchestra under Yevgeny Mravinsky, to whom the work is dedicated.

The symphony does not appear on concert programs very often, yet many recent scholars have ranked it among the composer's finest scores. Although some have argued that the work falls within the tradition of other C minor "tragedy to triumph" symphonies, such as Beethoven's Fifth, Brahms' First, Bruckner's Eighth, and Mahler's Second, there is considerable disagreement over the level of optimism present in the final pages. Shostakovich's friend Isaak Glikman called this symphony "his most tragic work".Wilson p. 174. The work like many of his symphonies breaks some of the standard conventions of symphonic form and structure. Shostakovich clearly references themes, rhythms and harmonies from his previous symphonies, most notably his Fifth Symphony and his Seventh Symphony.

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