August 27, 2008

The great Russian conductor Valery Gergiev who works in London has travelled to Tskhinvali and given a concert among the ruins of that city. NATO lay behind Saakashvili in the attack just past midnight on 7 to 8 of August, an attack which has killed very many innocent civilians, including the complete destruction of the Jewish Quarter.

It is a great thing which Gergiev has done. The responses from the British public and presumably many music lovers is not half bad either.

The theme was Russia’s victory over Georgia; the spirit was Second World War defiance; the music was from Leningrad — and the conductor was from London.

Surrounded by soldiers and barbed wire, hundreds crowded into the centre of Tskhinvali to see Valery Gergiev conduct the Maryinsky Orchestra from St Petersburg as Russia staged a victory concert amid the ruins of the capital of South Ossetia.

From the mournful first bars of Shostakovitch’s Symphony No 7 (known as the Leningrad) in the makeshift arena, it was clear that the theme of the night was a stirring appeal to patriotism and the memories of Russian suffering during the Second World War. Continue reading