At that concert, Gergiev conducted Dmitry Shostakovich's 7th Symphony, which was famously performed in Leningrad, the former name for Saint Petersburg, as the city was under siege from Nazi forces in the Second World War.
Even though the Smetana Trio primarily focus on performing Romantic pieces, their latest CD features works by two towering figures of 20th-century music: Maurice Ravel and Dmitry Shostakovich. The disc is the very first recorded by the ensemble in the new line-up (the year before last, the violinist Jana Vona'Skova-Novakova was replaced by Jiff Vodidka).
A frustrated writer at the beginning Petya is jealous of the success of his neighbor Dmitry Shostakovich. The iconic composer is modest private and mildly dismayed by the Communist Party's denunciation of his music as overly formalist.