• The Symphony No. 2 in B Major, Op. 14 “Dedicated to October” is the shortest of Dmitri Shostakovich's symphonies – of one movement and a closing chorus – and it sounds in a very avant-garde way in the context of Russian music of that time. It consists of two parts: the first one, which is purely instrumental, is composed by using atonal technique. The means are subordinated to the idea – from darkness to light, from chaos to harmony. Expressed in the words of political reality – from the spontaneity of the complaining crowd to revolutionary awareness. Shostakovich even includes a factory siren in the music scores. The chorus finale is based on the pathetic propaganda text of the poet Alexander Bezymensky.
• The Symphony No. 12 in D Minor in memory of Lenin, Dmitri Shostakovich entitled “The Year 1917”. This opus is in continuation of the revolutionary theme in his previous Symphony No. 11 “The Year 1905”. But if the composer incorporated popular revolutionary songs into its musical dramaturgy, here the thematic structure is unfolded through the transformation of small intonational motifs evoked by some of them. This is the composer’s most traditional and heroic-theatrical symphony. The four movements, flowing into each other without interruption, have programmatic titles: Revolutionary Petrograd – Razliv – Aurora – The Dawn of Humanity.


Symphony No. 12, as well as Symphony No. 2, are rarely performed due to their placard character.