Shostakovich: Symphony No. 14, Op. 135
The Symphony No. 14, Op. 135 by Dmitri Shostakovich was completed in the spring of 1969 and was premiered later that year. It is a work for soprano, bass, and a small string orchestra with percussion, consisting of eleven linked settings of poems by four authors. Most of the poems deal with the theme of death, particularly that of unjust or early death. They were set in Russian, although two other versions of the work exist with the texts all back-translated from Russian either into their original languages or into German. The symphony is dedicated to Benjamin Britten (who gave the UK premiere the following year at Aldeburgh).