The Symphony No. 8 in C minor, Op. 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. It was named the 'Stalingrad Symphony' by the USSR.
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". 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 Symphony No. 5 and Symphony No. 7.
Performances & Interviews
- Shostakovich: Symphony No. 8https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01ssv3j.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01ssv3j.jpg2013-03-22T20:37:00.000ZStephen Johnson explores Shostakovich's Eighth Symphony, a work the composer described as a 'poem of suffering'.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/b01r9qm9
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 8Stephen Johnson explores Shostakovich's Eighth Symphony, a work the composer described as a 'poem of suffering'.
- Shostakovich: Symphony No. 8https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01sf73r.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01sf73r.jpg2014-02-17T15:37:00.000ZStephen Johnson surveys recordings of Shostakovich's 8th Symphony and makes a personal recommendationhttps://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p01sf75y
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 8Stephen Johnson surveys recordings of Shostakovich's 8th Symphony and makes a personal recommendation