For the next several weeks, we're bringing you a Circle of Fifths: fifth symphonies by five composers of the Classical, Romantic, and Modern eras.
The third download in this series features Symphony No. 5 by Dmitri Shostakovich. Shostakovich wrote and premiered this symphony at a time when his life depended on his music's acceptance by the Soviet government. Shostakovich's opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk displeased Joseph Stalin, who saw the opera in early 1936, and the subsequent searing criticism in the newspaper Pravda put Shostakovich in a dangerous position. This symphony was very well-received by the public and the authorities, restoring Shostakovich to safer standing.