`Babi Yar' is Shostakovich's Symphony No. 13 in B Flat Minor. It was completed in 1962 with a text setting by the rebel poet, Yevgeny Yevtushenko. This work is about probably one of the worst mass executions in the history of the modern world. In just a matter of couple of days in September 1941, the invading Nazi army executed close to thirty five thousand Jews at Ukraine in a place called Babi Yar. By the end of the Second World War, the number of victims in the place had reached an appalling figure close to one hundred thousand.
This musical expression of Dmitri Shostakovich broke the long and officially suppressed silence on these tragic events.
Bernard Haitink has given a superb rendition of this symphony with the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam. I hail this performance as the definitive reading of this symphony.