Moscow Dzerzhinsky Central Club, Moscow
Sergei Yutkevich, director / NKVD Song & Dance Ensemble / Yuri Silantiev
Incidental music for the concert entertainment ‘The Motherland’, to a scenario by Iosef Dobrovolsky, Mikhail Volpin and Nikolai Erdman.
Like many composers and artists throughout the allied world Shostakovich worked hard during the Second World War to provide uplifting and patriotic music that would help entertain troops and refugees, and make strong, popular and catchy material for broadcast on the radio.
‘My Native Leningrad’ was written for a live popular revue and shows a quite different side of the composer’s character from his more familiar music of this period, like the mighty 7th and 8th Symphonies. Curiously enough the revue was performed by the Song and Dance Ensemble of the NKVD, the feared secret police of the period and the predecessors of the KGB.
Scored for tenor and bass soloists, choir and orchestra, and written during the darkest hours of the German invasion of the USSR, ‘My Native Leningrad’ includes a grandiose marching anthem, a lighter heroic song, a purely instrumental dance, and a stirring hymn to beseiged Leningrad.
Note by Gerard McBurney