'I dedicate my Seventh Symphony to our struggle against fascism, to our coming victory over the enemy, to my native city, Leningrad.' Few symphonies written in modern times have attracted the degree of extramusical speculation accorded Shostakovich's Leningrad Symphony, the first three movements of which were written during the initial months of the siege of Leningrad before the composer and his family were evacuated to Moscow in October 1941. It became an immediate worldwide symbol of the opposition to the tyranny of Hitler, though today it seems that the Symphony's inspiration may have stemmed as much from Stalin's atrocities during the 1930s as from the brutalities of the Nazi invasion of Russia in June 1941. Whatever the motivation behind its genesis, however, the epically-proportioned Leningrad Symphony stands as a testament to heroism and human endurance at a time of overwhelming conflict and deprivation. ( Szostakowicz)
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