From the cycle “All Symphonies of A. Bruckner and D. Shostakovich”
D. Shostakovich. Symphony No. 13, op. 113 D.
Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, led by its artistic director and chief conductor Gintaras Rinkevičius, continues the cycle of symphonies “All Symphonies of A. Bruckner and D. Shostakovich”, in which the Symphony No. 13 by Dmitry Shostakovich (1906–1975) will be performed, together with bass Kostas Smoriginas and male section of the Kaunas State Choir (conductor Robertas Šervenikas).
The history of the creation of the symphony began in 1961, when the Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko's poem “Babi Yar” was published in the newspaper “Literaturnaja Gazeta”. It is a ravine in the northern suburbs of Kiev, where in 1941 the Hitlerites shot up to 70,000 people (mostly Jews) in 36 hours. After reading the poem, D. Shostakovich immediately decided to set it to music. At first, he thought about a work in one part, but after its completion he added four more after J. Yevtushenko's poems: "Humour", "In the Store", "Fears" (this poem was created by the poet at the composer's request, upon a theme proposed by him) and "Career". Five poems written in simple folk language about the brutality of Soviet life, cynicism, deprivation, fears, corruption. Thus, an unusual symphony was born; D. Shostakovich completed it on 20 July 1962.
Symphony No 13 has come a long way in publicity and recognition. After the premiere, the audience remained deeply excited, but the press welcomed the premiere with hostility. It must be said, however, that the arrows of criticism flew only towards the verses of J. Yevtushenko, not to the music of D. Shostakovich. Eventually, the poet was forced to make significant corrections to “Babin Yar” and “Fear”, to remember that Russians and Ukrainians lay alongside Jews in that land, and that while ashamed by the outbreaks of anti-Semitism in Russia, he should nevertheless never stop admiring Russia, which had blocked with itself the path of fascism. Although reluctantly, the poet was followed by the composer, who "softened" his music.