Статья 'The History of the Creation, Premiere, and Prohibition of Dmitri Shostakovich's Thirteenth Symphony' - журнал 'PHILHARMONICA. International Music Journal' - NotaBene.ru
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PHILHARMONICA. International Music Journal

The History of the Creation, Premiere, and Prohibition of Dmitri Shostakovich's Thirteenth Symphony

Petrov Vladislav Olegovich

Doctor of Art History

Professor at the Department of Theory and History of Music of Astrakhan State Conservatory

414000, Russia, Astrakhanskaya oblast', g. Astrakhan', ul. Sovetskaya, 23

Other publications by this author










Abstract: The research subject of this article is Dmitri Shostakovich's “Thirteenth Symphony” – one of the most monumental symphonic canvases of the twentieth century, reflecting in its essence the chronicle of historical vicissitudes that took place in the Soviet Union. After a number of compromised compositions in the late 1940s and 1950s, forcibly written ("Songs about Forests," the Eleventh Symphony, numerous miniatures), the Thirteenth Symphony made a splash in musical and near-musical circles, as many perceived it from a polemic angle with the Stalinist regime. The reader's attention is focused on the fact that in it, the composer resorts to a veiled polemic with the current government, and the figurative world of the symphony is a direct reaction of Shostakovich not only to the events to which the opus is dedicated ("Babi Yar," the words of E. Yevtushenko) but also on the reality surrounding him. The semantic contexts of the work are examined through the prism of biographical data about the composer, as a result of which a wide documentary and historical apparatus are involved – the memoirs of Shostakovich's colleagues and contemporaries, his own statements addressed both to the symphony in question and to the broad historical and cultural context of the era. It is in the broad contextual approach that the scientific novelty of the article is seen. In addition, it presents analytical material that allows a deeper understanding of the essence of the work as a whole and the reasons why the symphony was banned at the time.


music and history, musicology, philosophy of music, music theory, musical art, art content, Thirteenth Symphony, Shostakovich, music of the 20th century, art history

By the early 1960s, Dmitri Shostakovich had become the "number-one composer" in the Soviet Union, performing at home and abroad. Knowing this and provoking this popularity, the authorities dragged Shostakovich into various kinds of ideological events. And, characteristically, Shostakovich, who had previously dared to say unpleasant things to Stalin and others in power, actively opposing arrests and murders, succumbed to the regime in more "easy" political conditions, became ideologically loyal, for which many condemned him (Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, for example). However, in 1962, the “Thirteenth Symphony” appeared in E. Yevtushenko’s text, completely contrasting to the previous two, written on a revolutionary plot. The purpose of this article is to present our own view on the concept of the symphony.

Note that the symphony has five parts: "Babi Yar," "Humor," "In the Store," "Fears," and "Career." The parts are different in artistic value, content, and form. Thus, the form of the first part is dictated by Yevtushenko's poems and is a series of scenes (the Dreyfus affair, the pogrom in Bialystok, the tragedy of Anne Frank, etc.) that are "connected" by a refrain—the author's reflections. The second movement contrasts with the previous one and has the character of a grotesque scherzo. The third part, which is the emotional culmination of the whole cycle, tells about the submissiveness of women. The fourth movement stands out for its dissonance—it uses a serial technique (an eleven-tone row in the initial solo of the tube). The fifth part "resolves the conflict." It tells about the possibility of choosing—serving the truth or compromising for the sake of a quiet life. Wasn't Shostakovich referring to his own life?

A word to the composer: "I first wrote something like a symphonic vocal poem based on the poems of Yevgeny Yevtushenko’s ‘Babi Yar.’ Then I had the idea to continue working, using other poems of this poet. For the second part, I took the poem ‘Humor.’ For the third poem, ‘In the Store.’ In the poem ‘Fears,’ which is the basis of the fourth movement, Yevtushenko wrote specifically, referring to my symphony. And for the finale, I chose the poem ‘Career.’ There is no plot connection between these poems. They are published at different times and are devoted to different topics. But I wanted to combine them musically" [1, p. 451]. Shostakovich dared, within the framework of the persecution of the Jews still in force in the USSR, to touch on the topic of their extermination in “Babi Yar” [1]. Yevtushenko's work itself, published in the Literaturnaya Gazeta on September 19, 1961, became an international sensation, and "by setting it to music, Shostakovich entered into an open confrontation with the authorities, whose anti-Semitic policy dated back to Stalin" [2]. Although, both Yevtushenko and Shostakovich made some concessions, a compromise—the text was changed between numbers 2–3 and 24–26 of the score:

Old text:

I think I'm a Jew now –

Here I am, wandering through ancient Egypt.

But I'm dying on the cross, crucified

And I still have nail marks on me!

And I myself am like a continuous silent scream

over thousands of thousands killed,

I am every old man shot here,

I am every child shot here.

New text:

I'm standing here, as if at a crinitsa,

giving faith in our brotherhood to me.

Here Russians and Ukrainians lie,

they lie in the same land with the Jews.

I'm thinking about the feat of Russia

fascism blocked the way by itself,

down to the tiniest dewdrop

I am close to the whole essence and fate.

After a number of compositions in the late 1940s and 50s that contained compromises, forcibly written "Songs about Forests," the Eleventh Symphony, numerous miniatures, the Thirteenth made a splash in musical and near-musical circles, as many perceived it from the angle of polemic with the Stalinist regime, however, not only with Stalin. Even before the premiere of the Thirteenth Symphony, in December 1962, Khrushchev spoke about the alienness of this work of Shostakovich to Soviet society at a meeting on ideological issues and thus passed an early sentence on him: "In the best traditions of dense ignorance and aggressiveness, with his inherent ‘spontaneity,’ Khrushchev developed not only ideas, tactics—the vocabulary of Zhdanov and Stalin—notes B. Schwartz, who witnessed that story—He shouted that the composer Shostakovich had composed some kind of symphony, ‘Babi Yar,’ raising an unnecessary ‘Jewish question.’ And in general, ‘Babi Yar’ is a harmful job. Did Khrushchev notice or understand how quickly he stepped into the rut of his own predecessors, who were exposed by him?" [3, p. 159]. Under pressure from above, many musicians refused to perform the symphony. Among them was E. Mravinsky, who always performed the premiere symphonies of Shostakovich and A. Vedernikov. B. Gmyre was banned from participating in the Moscow performance of the Thirteenth Symphony by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine.

Nevertheless, the day of the premiere was December 18, 1962. K. Kondrashin, the first conductor of the symphony, recalls: "They are afraid to ban the symphony from above, but already by the way Mravinsky behaved, it is clear that some steps are being taken to ensure that there is no premiere. A dress rehearsal is scheduled for ten o'clock. The atmosphere is very disturbing. Dmitry Dmitrievich, of course, was terribly nervous. Some unfamiliar faces sometimes appeared in the hall at previous rehearsals, but musicians always come to rehearsals, so it is unknown who was or is sitting there. Nechipailo has to rehearse. He is announced for the evening as a performer. The magnificent choirmaster Yurlov organized the choir, so everything was fine from this side. At about a quarter to ten, the phone rings, and Nechipailo says that he is ill and cannot sing in the evening. I think he was pressed. We all rush to look for Gromadsky—he lives far from the center, and he does not have a phone. He knows that he does not need to sing in the evening, and therefore it is yet to be known whether he will come to listen to the concert, much less the rehearsal. Twenty minutes passed—and Gromadsky appeared! He is immediately told that he must rehearse and sing in the evening. He is a former sailor, a brave man. I went out and started rehearsing. I was wrong because I wasn't very well prepared. We rehearsed the first part, and then the orchestra director entered: ‘Kirill Petrovich, there's a phone call for you.’ I stop the rehearsal and go to the artist's room to the phone. The Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation, Georgy Popov, called: – Well, how is the symphony? – We're rehearsing. Another soloist will sing. – Do you have any doubts about the first part? – It doesn't cause me. – Uh-huh... and how do you feel? – I feel great. – Do you have any political doubts about Babi Yar? – Nothing. I think this is very timely and important. – Maybe we should play a symphony without the first movement? Maybe you can tell the composer? – ...the symphony is conceived as a single whole. And if we throw out a part, then it can't be played, especially now. If we throw out the first part, which everyone knows about, we will only emphasize the hype, which will cause completely unnecessary curiosity. – Well, as you know" [4, pp. 404–405].

Yu. Loshkareva writes: "The conservatory was cordoned off by a reinforced police squad. Sometimes the cordon was broken through. The hall was filled to the limit. The diplomatic corps and representatives of the foreign press attended the concert. Mozart's symphony was performed in the first movement. The intermission seemed endless. The tension was building. Everyone was waiting for the start of the second section. Finally, a choir appeared on the stage, followed by an orchestra, a soloist, and a conductor. The hall froze… And here he is—Babi Yar—a symbol of sorrow and protest, once given to us as a test of conscience and will. ‘There are no monuments over Babi Yar...’. The monument was created here and now—from music and words, an immortal monument to the innocently murdered, humiliated, and insulted by rapists of all times. The poems and music carried such a powerful charge of ‘dramatic humanity’ that after the first part—after ‘Babi Yar’—applause broke out. And then everyone heard (saw) four more movements (acts) of the Thirteenth Symphony—'Humor,’ ‘In the Store,’ ‘Fear,’ ‘Career,’ and this ‘anti-Stalinist message’ sounded so clearly, so mercilessly, and truthfully that people—then, in December 1962!—experienced a shock. But now the voices of the bells and celeste faded under the arches of the hall, silence fell ... painfully long" [5]. The audience applauded Shostakovich and Yevtushenko for fifty minutes.

B. Schwartz, who was present at the premiere, noted: "From the first sounds, the symphony captured the hearts of listeners. In the shocked hall, they were neither indifferent nor forgetful. This music seemed to light an unquenchable torch in memory of all the defenseless who died: some—without having time to see and hear the world in which they lived, others—without completing the intended. Those whose lives were cut short seemed to cry out to the composer with their mouths covered with earth: to tell the living about them, not to fall into the sin of unconsciousness. This music deprived us of the right to forget; with every sound, it said that not letting the innocent be killed is not a feat—a duty. It exposed the madness of evil that condemns many thousands of people to suffering and death. The living dare not forget about this. This symphony is about death. And about the life that goes on, no matter what. And about what people should protect in themselves, what people can rely on" [3, p. 161].

Maria Yudina's statement is known from a letter to Shostakovich addressed after the premiere: "I can also say thanks from the deceased Pasternak, Zabolotsky, countless other friends, from the tortured Meyerhold, Mikhoels, Karsavin, Mandelstam, from the unnamed hundreds of thousands of ‘Ivan Denisovich,’ all of whom Pasternak said ‘tortured alive.’ You know everything yourself. They all live in you. We all burn in the pages of this score. You gave it to us, your contemporaries—for future generations."

Is it possible to remain indifferent to all those whose relatives, acquaintances, and friends disappeared from the face of the earth in the ‘30—50s after hearing the following lines by Yevtushenko, which formed the basis of the fourth movement of the “Thirteenth Symphony”:

"I remember them in power and strength

At the court of triumphant lies.

Fears were everywhere as shadows slid,

They penetrated into all floors."

Such a composition as the “Thirteenth Symphony” could only be written by an artist who had experienced incredible pain for the fate of the country and his generation. In this context, Khentova's remark is true, "In order to speak about the deepest pains with such open, merciless journalism through individual phenomena, large accumulations, long accumulative evolution, inner emancipation, maturity, to which the creator came, having experienced and realized a lot" were needed [6, p. 3]. This is the composer's first composition in which music has no hidden meanings that speak of all the horrors and utopianness of time. It is aimed at revealing the manifest program embedded in Yevtushenko's texts. For the first time, the composer so openly (with the inclusion of text in the composition) opposed the current system. And Yevtushenko dedicated the following remarkable lines to him, which can become an epigraph to Shostakovich’s biography as a whole:

"...On stage

a thin, bespectacled man. Not God,

awkwardness in the fingers in a convulsive clutch.

And in a tie. Sticking out somehow sideways.

He looks awkwardly, breathing unevenly.

And he bows, too, so awkwardly.

I didn't learn. This won."

Yevtushenko said after the premiere of the composition: "In the ‘Thirteenth Symphony,’ I was stunned first of all by the fact that if I (a complete musical ignoramus) suddenly had my hearing, I would have written absolutely the same music. Moreover, Shostakovich's reading of my poems was so intonationally and meaningfully accurate that it seemed that he, invisible, was inside me when I wrote the poems and composed the music along with the birth of the lines." However, according to his own words, the poet did not understand the finale of Shostakovich's symphony: the way out of the words "So long live the career, when the career is like Shakespeare and Pasteur, Newton and Tolstoy... Leo!" (hymn to careerists)—into a blurred musical "live rejoicing!" ("pure" and enlightened code). Only later, he noted that at that time, he "seemed too neutral, too going beyond the text. I was a fool then and realized only later how such an end was needed precisely because that was what was missing in the poems—an outlet to the ocean harmony of life."

Director G. Kozintsev also spoke about the disposition of "Yevtushenko & Shostakovich": "I reread Yevtushenko's Humor after the Thirteenth Symphony. It is worth comparing not only the form but also the power of generalization of phenomena in Shostakovich—his images of “humor" with Yevtushenkov's juggling with light rhymes and especially rhythms. What is the difference? Yevtushenko's is easily composed and wittily invented. Shostakovich has suffered. Yevtushenko: ‘I make a career by not doing it.’ Shostakovich has the power of affirmation and the power of denial. He has a prison and humor—fearless and joyful—a winning, resilient force. Yevtushenko has coquetry with witty antitheses. In Shostakovich, each opposing principle acquires a huge scope of history. In other words: capable lightness, shallow play or scherzo on the historical tragedy… Shostakovich was able to fill Yevtushenko's images with strength and passion; shallow poems became tragic; wordplay—true suffering" [7, p. 433].

Already in April 1963, a well-known review of the symphony's premiere by A. Ladygina appeared, which played a significant role in shaping public opinion and banning the work for performance. In particular, it notes that "... the ideological meaning of the Thirteenth Symphony contains significant flaws. The social order remained unfulfilled. D. Shostakovich was changed by his always inherent sense of time, a sense of high responsibility in the face of the tasks that are being solved today in our country. Moreover, his work, as if on purpose, performed in those days when the country was animatedly discussing the materials of the December and March meetings of the leaders of the party and the government with figures of Soviet art, testifies to the composer's misunderstanding of the requirements of the party… It is difficult to write about this, but D. Shostakovich did not understand what society needed, what would objectively serve the Soviet people, inspiring them in the struggle for communism, and what would become a kind of hindrance, an ideological obstacle, a means of arousing unnecessary passions" [8, p. 175].

The authorities banned the symphony. In the secret reply of the Central Committee of the CPSU to T. Khrennikov's letter, in which the question was asked about the expediency of a wide performance of the Thirteenth Symphony, the following is written: "In certain circles, Shostakovich’s new work was presented as a ‘symphony of the composer's civic courage,’ and the author himself was praised for ‘courage.’ The fallacy of the ideological conception of the symphony, the political immaturity of the majority of E. Yevtushenko's poems in it is sharply criticized in letters sent to the Central Committee of the CPSU (one of such denunciations was sent by T. Khrennikov himself—V.P.). In connection with the above, it would be considered inappropriate to widely perform this symphony in concert organizations of the country. It would be considered inappropriate to satisfy applications and transfer the score of the Thirteenth Symphony to foreign countries" [9, 10, 11]. We would like to point out that Shostakovich's Thirteenth Symphony is now one of the most performed and has firmly entered the repertoire of the most famous orchestras in the world. We state that being polemical for musicologists so far, it still contains a veiled polemic with the current government, and the figurative world of the symphony under consideration is a direct reaction of Shostakovich not only to the events to which the opus is dedicated ("Babi Yar," the words of E. Yevtushenko) [12] but also on the reality surrounding him.

[1] Let me remind you that Shostakovich composed works based on Jewish folk melodies back in the 1940s. It is known that it was at this time that the genocide of Jews flourished in the USSR, and turning to the folklore of this nation was, indeed, a bold and unpromising step for a broad public understanding. All these works were performed and published only after Stalin's death (for example, the cycle "From Jewish Folk Poetry" in 1955). But how else, if the song "Lullaby" from the "From Jewish Folk Poetry" contains the words "Your father is now in Siberia; the tsar is holding him in prison"? It really was a challenge. There was the truth about the existing reality—Stalin was preparing the deportation of all Jews to Siberia.


First Peer Review

Peer reviewers' evaluations remain confidential and are not disclosed to the public. Only external reviews, authorized for publication by the article's author(s), are made public. Typically, these final reviews are conducted after the manuscript's revision. Adhering to our double-blind review policy, the reviewer's identity is kept confidential.
The list of publisher reviewers can be found here.

The subject of the study, reflected in the title ("The history of the creation, premiere and prohibition of the Thirteenth Symphony by Dmitry Shostakovich"), is disclosed based on the analysis of empirical material, comprehended in the poetic and prose bibliography of reviews of Dmitry Shostakovich's symphony. The author brought to the fore the ideological burden of Yevtushenko-Shostakovich's Babi Yar, focusing on the inhuman foundations of Stalinist anti-Semitism and the "spinelessness" of the political elite of the Central Committee of the CPSU of the 1960s in condemning Stalinist-type totalitarianism. The author, of course, has the right to his own author's position, but does this position fully reveal the creative and life credo of Dmitry Dmitrievich? For the sake of his own position, the author isolated the "Thirteenth ..." from the context of the composer's work, significantly narrowing the national character of his work, tying Shostakovich's anti-totalitarianism exclusively to the theme of the fate of the Jewish people expressed in the poetic texts used by the composer. This theme is present in the work of Dmitry Dmitrievich, but is not a key one. It is enough to recall the Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor, Op. 67 (in memory of Ivan Sollertinsky), composed 1943-1944, premiered on November 14, 1944, to deeply feel the composer's basic philosophical credo — rejection of totalitarianism in any form. The following argument concerning "Leningrad..." (premiered in Kuibyshev on March 5, 1942) may seem controversial, but the reviewer finds it self-evident that the theme of "invasion" is based on the intonation-rhythmic inversion of the traditional Klezmer dance melody ("7:40"), which became the most recognizable in Soviet times, a repeatedly quoted Jewish melody. The juxtaposition of the themes of "invasion" and "socialist construction" in the Seventh Symphony reveals Shostakovich's fundamental philosophical antithesis: the human soul in all its fullness opposes totalitarianism in any of its manifestations, including the inversion of Zionism. Therefore, we have to admit that the subject of the study, although presented in a convincing sequence, is revealed by the author exclusively one-sidedly, which borders on a distortion of the spirit (philosophical and intonational content) of the work in question. Another question is that the consistently expressed author's position cannot be a reason for rejecting the article or its revision, it is just a reason for further theoretical discussions, including reasonable criticism of the author. The research methodology has both strengths and weaknesses. The strong point is the detailed elaboration and reconstruction of the historical sequence of the main empirical material (epistolary reviews of the symphony by its contemporaries). The author consistently reveals the reason for the official restrictions on the performance of Symphony No. 13 in B flat minor, Op. 113 in the USSR. However, the principles of thematic sampling of empirical material, as well as the sources of some of the information provided (the "old text" between numbers 2-3 and 24-26 of the score), are not presented in the article. The author's judgments about the "necessity" of adjustments in Shostakovich's writings or in his individual works as a whole for the sake of the interests of the Soviet political elite are not justified, but follow from the subjective author's position, which, due to weak validity, borders on prejudice, preventing the author from fully assessing the epochal significance of the work in question. A significant methodological disadvantage of the article, according to the reviewer, is the lack of an author's assessment of the state of musicological discourse in Russia and abroad regarding the subject of research, whether it is the history of the creation, premiere and prohibition of the Thirteenth Symphony by Dmitry Shostakovich or the ideological-philosophical / musical-intonation content of the symphony. Lack of assessment of the theoretical context of the study (the degree of elaboration of the problem) calls into question the author's achievement of scientific novelty: the author reserves the right for the reader to evaluate the novelty of his conclusions and guesses, which fully reveals the provocativeness of the research intention, a method widely used in postmodernity, but controversial from the standpoint of the classics of art criticism. The relevance of postmodern provocations, based on the observation of non-classical and post-non-classical methods gaining popularity in Russian and foreign art criticism, comes into question. The main value of provocation is the actualization of a new vision, an unknown or poorly researched aspect of reality. Unfortunately, the answer to the question of whether the author reveals any new context or aspect of artistic reality remains negative. Science is also characterized by a negative result, so the presented article deserves attention, including a well-founded theoretical criticism of the author's conclusions and guesses. The scientific novelty of the article lies in the carefully analyzed empirical material of epistolary sources, revealing, albeit somewhat one-sidedly, the history of the creation, premiere and prohibition of the Thirteenth Symphony by Dmitry Shostakovich. The absence of a final (summarizing) conclusion corresponds to the provocative task of problematizing a new area of research, however, it does not follow from the text of the article how new the aspect disclosed by the author is (there is no author's assessment of the state of theoretical discourse on the subject). In addition, in order to confirm the theoretical advantages of a new (author's) aspect in scientific works, it is customary to reveal the supposed heuristic potential of innovation: prospects for further research in the context proposed by the author — this, unfortunately, is not present in the presented article. The revision of the article in terms of a clear definition of scientific novelty and the most effective ways of its further practical application would seriously increase the scientific value of the publication. The style of the article is generally scientific. Although the structure of the presentation of the material does not fully correspond to the logic of the presentation of the results of scientific research: there is no goal setting in the introduction (including a clear designation of the scientific problem and algorithm for solving research problems using a set of specific scientific methods), there are no final conclusions in the conclusion (including an assessment of the achievement / non-achievement by the author of the designated research goal, an assessment of scientific novelty, theoretical and practical value the achieved result). There are typos or inaccuracies in the content of the text that require the author's attention: 1) probably, in the statement "... not only at home, but also abroad..." the author meant the Homeland of Dmitry Dmitrievich; 2) the statement "... for which many condemned him (A. Solzhenitsyn, for example)", given the severity of the political statement, needs a specific explanation with an indication of the source revealing the completeness of someone else's thought; 3) it is necessary to indicate the sources of the "old" and "new" texts of poems by E. A. Yevtushenko, if their comparison carries a semantic load; for this it would be appropriate to use a comparative table to test they did not merge, as it is currently presented; in addition, such a comparison requires specific author's conclusions so that it is clear why this logical operation (comparison) was performed. The bibliography, given its narrow focus on the analysis of certain empirical material, generally reveals the subject area of the study in the perspective necessary for the author; its design meets editorial requirements, although the most recent (over the past 5 years) references to scientific literature relate exclusively to V. O. Petrov's publications, which explains the one-sidedness of the study. Appealing to opponents is incorrect. If V. O. Petrov is the only opponent of the author, then where is the criticism of his works? If V. O. Petrov's works are mentioned solely because they belong to the author himself, then this only explains the one-sidedness of the author's position regarding criticism of the socio-cultural environment of the great Soviet composer's work. To get out of such a logical impasse, it is necessary to reveal the theoretical context of the study much more broadly, mentioning at least in passing the Russian and foreign scientific literature of the last 5 years.
The interest of the readership "PHILHARMONICA. International Music Journal" has already been guaranteed to some extent by the author, although the revision of the article taking into account the comments of the reviewer could significantly strengthen and expand the reader's interest.

Second Peer Review

Peer reviewers' evaluations remain confidential and are not disclosed to the public. Only external reviews, authorized for publication by the article's author(s), are made public. Typically, these final reviews are conducted after the manuscript's revision. Adhering to our double-blind review policy, the reviewer's identity is kept confidential.
The list of publisher reviewers can be found here.

To the journal "PHILHARMONICA. International Music Journal" the author presented his article "The history of the creation, premiere and prohibition of the Thirteenth Symphony by Dmitry Shostakovich", which contains details related to the emergence of the Symphony and the motives that prompted the famous composer to create it. The author proceeds in studying this issue from the fact that Shostakovich's Thirteenth Symphony is one of the most performed and enshrined in the repertoire of the most famous orchestras in the world. It contains a veiled polemic with the current government, and the imaginative world of the symphony under consideration represents Shostakovich's direct reaction not only to the events to which it is dedicated, but also to the reality surrounding the composer. The relevance of the research is due to the fact that Dmitry Shostakovich's work occupies a special place in Russian music of the XX century, his creative legacy influenced Russian and foreign compositional art. The methodological basis of the work is an integrated approach, including historical and socio-cultural analysis. In conducting the research, the author also relies on numerous memoirs of D.S. Shostakovich's contemporaries. Unfortunately, the article lacks material on the scientific novelty of the research and an analysis of the scientific validity of the problem. The purpose of the study, as the author notes, is to present his own view of the concept of the symphony. However, the text of the article is mostly devoted not to the analysis of the symphony itself, but to the presentation of historical facts and the presentation of the memoirs of contemporaries who witnessed the appearance and performance of this work. The author noted only at the beginning of the work that the symphony compositionally consists of five parts – "Babi Yar", "Humor", "In the store", "Fears", "Career", different in artistic value, content, form. Thus, the form of the first part is dictated by Yevtushenko's poems and represents a series of scenes (the Dreyfus affair, the pogrom in Bialystok, the tragedy of Anne Frank), which are connected by a refrain – the author's reflections. The second movement contrasts with the previous one and has the character of a grotesque scherzo. The third part, which is the emotional culmination of the entire cycle, tells about the female share, about the submissiveness of women. The fourth movement stands out for its dissonance – it uses a serial technique (an eleven-tone row in the initial solo of the tube). The fifth part "resolves the conflict": it tells about the possibility of choosing – serving truth and truth or compromise for the sake of a peaceful life. The author pays special attention to a detailed description of the history of the appearance of the Thirteenth Symphony, the peculiarity of which was that the composer, ideologically loyal to the existing political regime, decided to create a work that was actually "alien to Soviet society." Based on the memoirs of contemporaries, involved and interested persons, the author recreates a detailed picture of the first performance of the symphony and the acute reaction it caused among representatives of various social circles. It should be noted that the work does not contain a conclusion in which the author should present conclusions on the studied material, therefore it is difficult to determine whether the author has received the scientific results of his research. It seems that the author in his material touched upon relevant and interesting issues for modern socio-humanitarian knowledge, choosing a topic for analysis, consideration of which in scientific research discourse will entail certain changes in the established approaches and directions of analysis of the problem addressed in the presented article. The presented material allows us to assert that the study of the work of a certain artist as a reflection and reinterpretation of exciting acute socio-political events is of undoubted scientific and practical cultural and art criticism significance. The obtained material can serve as a basis for further research within the framework of this issue. The material presented in the work has a clear, logically structured structure that contributes to a more complete assimilation of the material. This is also facilitated by an adequate choice of an appropriate methodological framework. Although the bibliographic list of the study consists of 12 sources, it seems sufficient for generalization and analysis of scientific discourse on the studied problem due to its certain specificity. The author obtained certain scientific results that allowed him to analyze the material. It should be noted that the article may be of interest to readers and deserves to be published in a reputable scientific publication.
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