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Shostakovich: Under Stalin's Shadow

An archival companion to the BSO/DG recordings

In 2015, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Deutsche Grammophon (DG) announced a new recording partnership. The first project, entitled Shostakovich: Under Stalin's Shadow, focuses on works composed during the period of Dmitri Shostakovich's difficult relationship with Stalin and the Soviet regime — starting with his fall from favor in the mid-1930s and the composition and highly acclaimed premiere of his Fifth Symphony, through the premiere of the composer's Tenth Symphony, purportedly written as a response to Stalin's death in 1953.

Special thanks to Lloyd Axelrod, M.D. for his support of the Shostakovich: Under Stalin's Shadow recording project.

Portrait of composer Dmitri Shostakovich

(Roger & Renate Rössing)

Shostakovich's symphonies have figured in the BSO's repertoire on frequent occasions since the BSO's initial performances of the composer's Symphony No. 1 in November 1935. The online exhibit features a selection of documents preserved in the BSO Archives pertaining to early BSO performances of each of the works being recorded by the BSO and DG. For each work, a link is provided that enables you to explore the BSO's entire performance history of that work in HENRY (the BSO's performance history search engine). You can also access relevant concert reviews, photographs, program notes, audio and visual files, and other documents. As an adjunct, materials relating to the 1959 visit to Boston by a delegation of Soviet composers led by Shostakovich are included.

Andris Nelsons on Shostakovich and His Music

Boston Symphony Orchestra Music Director Andris Nelsons sat down with Harlow Robinson at Symphony Hall to talk about the music of Shostakovich, in connection with the Shostakovich: Under Stalin's Shadow recordings released in collaboration with Deutsche Grammophon.

Read the interview
Andris Nelsons headshot

Andris Nelsons on Shostakovich and His Music

Boston Symphony Orchestra Music Director Andris Nelsons sat down with Harlow Robinson at Symphony Hall to talk about the music of Shostakovich, in connection with the Shostakovich: Under Stalin's Shadow recordings released in collaboration with Deutsche Grammophon.

Read the interview