SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 9
Symphony No. 9
Under the leadership of Music Director, Serge Koussevitzky, the BSO gave the American premiere of the Ninth Symphony on July 25, 1946 at Tanglewood. Two weeks later, on August 10, 1946, Koussevitzky and the BSO repeated the Ninth, at which time the work received its American radio broadcast premiere.
Following the Tanglewood performances, BSO Music Director Serge Koussevitzky opened the BSO's 1946-1947 Symphony Season with performances of the work at Symphony Hall, October 4-8, 1946, followed by performances in Cambridge and Providence. The BSO recorded the Ninth Symphony on November 4th for the RCA Victor label. A second recording session was added on April 2, 1947, because Shostakovich disagreed with Koussevitzky's interpretation of the second "Moderato" movement.
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August 10, 1946 American radio broadcast premiere, Mvt 1, excerpt only
October 10, 1946 radio broadcast from Providence, RI, Mvt 4
November 4, 1946 test pressing made by RCA Victor, excerpt from the second "Moderato" movement illustrating Koussevitzky's slow tempo
Excerpt from "Moderato" movement as re-recorded and ultimately released by RCA (DM 1134) at Symphony Hall, April 2, 1947 by Serge Koussevitzky and the BSO, illustrating faster tempo favored by Shostakovich
Serge Koussevitzky on the grounds of Seranak, his summer home in the Berkshires, ca. 1946. Photograph by Egone, courtesy BSO Archives
Serge Koussevitzky and the BSO on the stage of Symphony Hall, 1947. Photograph by Fay Foto, Boston, courtesy BSO Archives
Serge Koussevitzky conducts the BSO at Tanglewood, ca. 1940. Photograph by Eric Schaal, courtesy BSO Archives