September 25 marks the 112th birth anniversary of legendary Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich, whose Symphony No. 7 remains the best known musical work symbolising resistance to Nazism.
He began composing the symphony after Hitler’s Germany attacked Russia on June 22, 1941. Later, in something of an urban legend, the story goes that when he was playing the composition for his friends. sirens rang out to signal an air-raid by the German airforce. But Shostakovich did not stop till he had finished playing the gigantic first movement of the symphony which is also known as “The Leningrad”.
The video above is a rare clip of the composer himself performing a portion of the symphony on the piano.
Here is a 1988 rendition of the entire symphony, which runs to nearly 80 minutes.