On December 2 the Governor’s Symphony Orchestra of the Irkutsk Regional Philharmonic presented Georgiy Sviridov Symphony #1 in the State Academic Capella of Saint Petersburg at the V St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum.
The presentation of Georgiy Sviridov’s Symphony #1 at the Cultural Forum along with the premiere of the “Funeral Song” of Igor Stravinsky in the Mariinsky theatre, which had been missing for over a hundred years, has become one of the most anticipated events. The Governor’s Symphony Orchestra of the Irkutsk Regional Philharmonic under the direction of Ilmar Lapinsh had the honor of presenting Georgiy Svirido’v Symphony #1 at the Cultural Forum in Saint Petersburg.
The 21-yearold composer created his first symphony in 1937, back when he studied in Shostakovich’s class in the Leningrad conservatory. The debut work of Sviridov reflects considerable influence of Shostakovich. The first symphony of Sviridov was only played once as part of the closed selection for the First Decade of Soviet Music.
We don’t know for sure, why it was only played once and was eventually lost in the family archive. It is supposed that it didn’t comply with canonic requirements for Soviet symphonies in 1930s, and the failure of the symphony could disappoint the composer. Besides that, war and prosecutions of “formalists” in the 1940s could become an obstructing factor. Later Sviridov himself thought of the symphony as lost. The nephew of the composer accidentally found the sheet-music this year in the family archives.
“The first performance of Georgiy Sviridov’s symphony #1 in Saint Petersburg is in fact a true world premiere. This is a deeply symbolic event for our city, because the great Russian composer started his creative way here, he created his first works, which made him famous, here, in Leningrad; here he wrote three symphonies and two piano concertos, which allowed his mentor Shostakovich to think of Sviridov as a “natural symphonist”. The premiere of the Symphony at the Forum is a vivid example of public and state careful attitude to the problem of cultural heritage preservation in Russia”, - said the nephew of the composer Alexander Belonenko.