Performed in a city under siege, Dmitri Shostakovich’s Leningrad Symphony symbolized popular resistance to the Nazi invasion. A complex work with several layers of political meaning, the symphony was a high point of twentieth-century classical music.
Simon Behrman is the author of Shostakovich: Socialism, Stalin & Symphonies.
250 years after his birth, Beethoven’s music still has an exhilarating, subversive power. His revolution of artistic form was intimately linked to his sympathy for the political revolutions of his time.