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26 September 2006



Hi David,
Ruth is right. Dmitri Dmitrievich Shostakovich the famous Russian composer and musical genius of the Soviet era was born on 25 September (and according to the Orthodox Church's Julian calandar on September 12) 1906 and died on 9 August 1975 of lung cancer.

I agree with Mrs GadjetVicar that we can really feel the depth of sadness in some of his music. But who can blame him for that considering that his music during Stalin's time was regularly banned by the authorities and twice officially dennounced in 1936 and 1948 even though he received a number of state awards in later years. The sadness in his music also comes from the fact that he felt suicidal when political pressure forced to join the Communist Party and later served in the Supreme Soviet.

Dmitri Shostakovich was also an outspoken critic of anti-semitism and used his music to convey the pain, suffering, oppression and persecution the Jewish people have faced and his Thirteenth Symphony commemorates the massacre of the Jews during the Second World War at Babi Yar.

You can read more about him and listen to his music here:

God's blessings,

Graham Cuthbert

Artic Monkeys david? i didnt know u had it in you :P If your bored u should have a look at my bands site www.myspace.com/therockpaperscissorsmusic *sublimable messages* "goto the site"

did u hear that voice? "goto the site!"

anyway, im quite bored. sorry for messing up your very nice blog

god bless, graham


Hi David,
Yesterday I was talking of the Thirteenth Symphony, also known as the Babi Yar Symphony, the subject of anti-Semitism and one of the saddest symphonies of Dmitri Shostakovich. It is set amidst a number of poems on anti-semitism by Yevgeny Yevtushenko and commemorates the Babi Yar massacre of more than 30,000 Jews in the Soviet Union who were shot by the Nazis at Babi Yar ravine near Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, during the Second World War.

I found an article today on the BBC News that Ukraine is just marking the 65th anniversary of the Babi Yar massacre and I thought you'd be interested. As the article says 'During the war, at least 100,000 people - including Gypsies and Soviet Army prisoners - were killed in Babi Yar.' Here it is:
BBC News: Ukraine remembers Jewish massacre

If you want to read more on the Thirteenth Symphony or on Shostakovich here is some more information:

As I said yesterday by the Orthodox church calandar (which is the Julian Calandar) followed in countries like Russia and the Ukraine Shostakovich's birthday is not on 25th Sept but on 12th Sept as you will find here:

If you want to buy the Thirteenth Symphony here are the details:

God's blessings,


Thank you for mentioning Scott Matthews. I'd never heard of him before but Mr Jeff Buckley (the voice, the lyrics, the music...) was always very special. Been listening to Mr Matthews this morning and am very impressed so far... . Thank you! God bless... .

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