With no food, no heat in brutal winter weather and no medical supplies the citizens of Leningrad suffered the greatest disaster to befall any city in the world. As they starved and froze to death, the Germans bombed them on a daily basis. Over 1,500,000 Russians died during the siege.

In the middle of this mayhem Shostakovich wrote the 7th Symphony for the people of Leningrad. On August 9, 1942, as bombs fell nearby, a depleted orchestra played to a full concert hall of starving people. The concert was aired over loudspeakers, many of them directed toward German lines, as an act of culture resistance to the blockade.

Shostakovich-7thThe Hitler-led Germans, like the Napoleon-led French years before, eventually lost the battle. Not to the Soviets/Russians. But to the season of winter. The blockade ended 75 years ago this January.

This is a stereo live recording from 1978 with the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra and Gennady Cherkasov (conductor).

1. I. Allegretto 26:29
2. II. Moderato, poco allegretto 10:33
3. III. Adagio, Largo (attacca) 16:38
4. IV. Moderato 17:31

Total time: 1:11:12

Dimitri Shostakovich - Symphony No.7 in C major "Leningrad" Op.60
(320 kbps, front cover included)