Leningrad: Siege and Symphony - Brian Moynahan

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan, 3:08 pm on 1 December 2014

It became an anthem of survival in a city under siege: Dmitri Shostakovich's Seventh Symphony. One year into the brutal siege of Leningrad, that would leave more than a million Russians dead, a ragged orchestra of emaciated musicians cobbled together from the dwindling survivors, performed the piece in front of an equally bedraggled audience.

British journalist, Brian Moynahan tells the story of how music can lift an entire city in his new book, Leningrad: Siege and Symphony: The story of the great city terrorized by Stalin, Starved by Hitler, Immortalized by Shostakovich.

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