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Nikolaj Jakowlewitsch Mjaskowski: 6. Symphonie

  • for large orchestra and mixed choir
  • Duration: 64’
  • Instrumentation details:
    3 3 3 3 - 6 3 3 1 - perc, hp, cel, str
  • Choir: SATB
  • Composer: Nikolaj Jakowlewitsch Mjaskowski
  • Text author: V. J. Sokolow
  • Remarks: the death of the composer's aunt inspired him writing the piece

Work introduction

Nikolaj Mjaskowski’s Symphony No. 6 for large orchestra and mixed choir, which lasts over an hour, is his best-known and most successful composition. It evokes the Russian Revolution of 1917 and mourns its many victims. However, death does not make an appearance until the third movement – and then only briefly – with the Dies irae motif. This gains the upper hand in the fourth movement – over the Carmagnole and Ça ira of the French Revolution with which the movement begins and the Russian funeral dirge ‘Von der Trennung der Seele vom Körper’ (the separation of the soul from the body), which is also taken up by the choir. The audience at the première in Moscow in 1924 were moved to tears.

World première

Bolshoi Theater, Moskau (RU)
Nikolai Golowanow

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