In September 1941, nearly 34,000 Jews were murdered by Nazis and their collaborators at Babi Yar, a ravine near Kiev. To mark the 80th anniversary, Shostakovich's 13th Symphony in B-flat minor, Op. 113- written as a memorial to the victims- will be performed at the Babyn Yar commemoration ceremony on October 6, 2021.
Thomas Sanderling, conductor
Albert Dohmen, bass-baritone
Male singers from the ‘Kyiv’ Municipal Chamber Choir
Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (DSO)
( 01:06 ) I. Babi Yar (Adagio)
( 17:39 ) II. Humour (Allegretto)
( 27:12 ) III. In the Store (Adagio)
( 39:24 ) IV. Fears (Largo)
( 51:19 ) V. Career (Allegretto)
Dmitri Shostakovich's (1906 - 1975) Babi Yar symphony piece has five movements for bass soloist, men's chorus and large orchestra. The text is based on Yevgeny Yevtushenko’s poem Babi Yar, written in response to the suppression of the acknowledgement of the Nazi atrocity by Soviet authorities. Yevtushenko published the poem in 1961. Babi Yar is a reflection on the massacre as well as a searing condemnation of antisemitism. The poem moved Shostakovich to compose his 13th Symphony, providing the text for its first movement and setting the program for the other movements, which were also based on poems by Yevtushenko. The choral symphony debuted in Moscow in 1962. After the second performance, the Soviet authorities demanded that Shostakovich and Yevtushenko make textural changes. It was not until 1970 that the score was published with the original text.
The German premiere of Shostakovich's Symphony No. 13 took place in 1973 under the baton of conductor Thomas Sanderling. Almost 50 years on, Sanderling is set to conduct today’s commemorations. Upon invitation from the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center, the Deutsches Symphony Orchestra will be performing with bass-baritone Albert Dohmen and the men of the Kyiv Municipal Chamber Choir.
The event marking the 80th anniversary of the massacre is organized by the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center (BYHMC). The presidents of Israel, Ukraine and Germany will also be present.
More information about the concert:
More information about the Babi Yar massacre: