Shostakovich Leningrad Symphony

By Kay Gardiner
March 17, 2018
Keep your eyes on your knitting, and your ears on something interesting.

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16 Comments
  • This is so great that you’re including Classical music! Thank you!!!

  • Oh, Marche Slave- I love it because it was the finale at the University of South Dakota summer music camp concert circa 1976. Cheers!

  • Classical music – yes. My default is anything by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

    • He is my favorite composer, but the Lark Ascending is my all time favorite piece. I hear it and my faith, that spring will return, is always renewed. No matter how dark the hour.

  • Have we never discussed this? I was cranking out the Water Music and March Slave on viola in HS. The viola section! Where you can achieve first chair just by being alive and remembering to rosin your bow

    • Every time the teacher would single out the violas to run through a passage alone, I’d think, Well that sounds weird. Every time! Yet I sing alto and don’t think it sounds weird.

  • As a teenager the early 60’s, I knew music was what I wanted to study, so I listened to every new piece I could. I babysat for a family with a fabulous classical LP collection, and that was where I discovered the Shostakovich 5th Symphony. Talk about musical drama! It’s so beautifully…..dark. So…..mid-century. So…..intellectual. The man was a genius. Thank you for spreading the word!

  • That book is amazing! I’ve lived in Russia and I learned a lot from it. I’m glad your blog will get it some publicity.

  • I, too, am a passionate fan of Shostakovich. It started with his symphonies when I was a teen back in the 60s. His string quartets are wonderful too, full of passion, brooding & energy. It’s unfortunate that the classical music station in my area seldom plays his music.

  • Yes to Shostakovitch string quartets. I just spent a knitting evening listening to them while my husband took our new hi- fi out for a spin. They are just lovely. Shostakovitch and knitting around the planet (I’m in Australia) Hooray for happy coincidences!

  • I am a classical pianist who started knitting recently. I have knitted to all kinds of music, both classical and popular, but never to Shostakovich. This is a master stroke!

  • I am a musical illiterate, but I love it. Have you listened to Sticky Notes? http://stickynotespodcast.libsyn.com/ Great fun!

  • This was awesome. OMG!! I grew up on classidal music but never listened to him. Please recommend more classical music to listen to while knitting.

  • I feel that you did not listen to this symphony or that you don’t understand anything about it.
    This music was composed to give comfort and strength to the besieged inhabitants of the city of Leningrad
    More than one million died during this period, by hunger, cold and despair
    This is one of the many atrocities of that war

    I can’t understand how you can suggest this masterpiece for ‘relaxing knitting’… It should be a lesson forcall of us, not an acoustic background wallpaper

  • I love to knit to classical music. It gets me into a rhythm and I fall into a real zen place. My stitches are prettier and my tension is perfect when I knit to YoYo Ma playing anything.

  • I know I’m almost a year late on this post, but had to mention that I love, love, that book! thanks for posting the symphony!