Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad

National Book Award winner M. T. Anderson delivers an account of the Siege of Leningrad and the role played by Russian composer Shostakovich and his Leningrad Symphony.

In September 1941, Adolf Hitler ’ s Wehrmacht surrounded Leningrad in what was to become one of the longest and most destructive sieges in Western history—almost three years of bombardment and starvation that culminated in the harsh winter of 1943–1944. More than a million citizens perished. Survivors recall corpses littering the frozen streets, their relatives having neither the means nor the trength to bury them. Residents burned books, furniture, and floorboards to keep warm; they ate family pets and—eventually—one another to stay alive. Trapped between the Nazi invading force and the Russia government itself was composer Dmitri Shostakovich, who coul write a symphony that roused, rallied, eulogized, and commemorated his fellow citizens—the Leningrad Symphony, which ame to occupy a surprising place of prominence in the eventual Allied victory.

is true tory of a city under siege: the triumph of bravery and defiance in the face of terrifying odds. It is ofte a look at the power—and layered meaning—of music in beleaguered lives.
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Published September 22nd 2015 by Candlewick

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rated it

The is a shor nove and a library book, oo, and I did n't read it as carefully as I ikely would have had I owned it.

Thi said, I enjoyed what I writ, and learned quite a bit, not just about Shostakovich, but about the shifting conditions.

For comparison, concerning primary source materials with Shostakovich writing ( letters, statements made about his art) 1) Who knows when and if Shostakovich is speaking for himself; 2) who knows when and if the things being written were written in coded language, 3) or, at least, who sees the truth when things are likely written in a way one writes when one does n't ant to hav the next target in a long line of artists tortured and/or killed by the leaders and followers of a cynical, blood-thirsty, regime.

I imagine this might turn out to e another book read more by not so young adults than younger ones, but who knows.

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In Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad history is very clearly explained starting with Bloody Sunday in 1905 and continuing through the Siege of Leningrad.

he history presented is woven around the central figure Dimitri Shostakovich ( 1906-1975).

Knew it or ot, there is humor, although the siege is also depicted in all its ghastliness.The author reads his own audiobook.

I efinitely recommend th ook to anyone interested in Shostakovich, Stalin, the Russian Revolution, the Leningrad Siege and the importance/role/value of music.

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It as he ind of nove that I were to put down ften, just to be unable to process the horror that the Russian people experienced.

There 's a lot about why it 's toug to feel for sure details of Shostakovich 's thoughts on Communism, or somebod else ( living under an extremely totalitarian regime where being honest could get you killed is a huge impediment to speaking your mind, bviously).

I kno veryone could benefit from reading anothe book -- it will deepen your master of WWII, of Russian history, of Dmitri Shostakovich, and of humanity.

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Biography, history, sociology and sociology all collide in this masterfu book- and I am actually going to be unwillin to say enough good things about it.During a semester studying abroad in St. Petersburg, I first heard thi story of Shostakovich and his 7th symphony.

he writing itself is poetry- taking the reader through the triumph, fear, and horrors of the narrative.

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It 's a masterpiece.

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Too, I ’ m not doing that for Symphony for the City of the Dead, mostly because I ’ ve alway really been sure how to rite comprehensive review for nonfiction, since thi seems to come down in large measure more on the accuracy of the information which I can ’ t quite speak to.In all my years studying history, I ’ ve lways been most fascinated by the World War II ra.

rated it

Every now and then th book comes along that blows me away and Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad is one of those books.A riveting story of the music of composer Dimitri Shostakovich along with an extensively researched history of the siege of Leningrad.

Some shocking facts taken from book ...............****** 27 million Soviet citizens died during the conflict more in other words that the dead of all the other nations combined.

siege of Leningrad alone cost approximately one and a half million Russian lives- more than the combined World War II casualties of the Americans and the British.****** After Stalin 's death the labour camps began quietly to release their prisioners.

LET NOTHING BE FORGOTTEN*** I recommend his ook for lovers of music and those who ave an interest in the Siege of Leningrad.

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© Nicole Waggonner