The applause in the Volgograd Philharmonic would not die down after the final notes of Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 9. "Be embraced… This kiss for the whole world!": in few places is the composer's message of peace and brotherhood more convincing than here - "Above the Graves of Stalingrad," as the concert was titled. The performance took place in the city called Volgograd today, but formerly known as Stalingrad.
Bringing people together
Along with Beethoven's final symphony, the Osnabrück Symphony Orchestra and the Volgograd Philharmonic performed the world premiere of "Expectations." Russian composer Elena Firsova composed the work, which was commissioned by the musicians from Osnabrück as a gesture of friendship to Volgograd.
'Germany Year' in Russia
Germany's ambassador to Russia, Ulrich Brandenburg, opened the concert, which marked a highlight of a year of programming intending to celebrate German culture and ties to Russia. The festivities are sponsored by Germany's Federal Foreign Office and the Goethe Institute.
DW's music department prepared a broadcast of the concert in cooperation with Russian partner sender Radio Orpheus. After the concert concluded at 8:50 p.m. in local Russian time, the recording was broadcast by Deutschlandradio Kultur (German Radio Culture) at 8:00 p.m. German time. It also contained a work by the Russian composer Gavriil Popov.
Despite difficulties at the outset - including the treachery of the Russian winter and the less than reliable Internet connections in Volgograd - the project was carried out successfully. There were many sighs of relief behind the scenes, and in the hall, multiple standing ovations.