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Sometimes music directly depicts fighting … usually followed by victory. Such works come out of countries with narratives of fighting against the odds towards final victory. It is a genre of classical music for which I am unaware of any Japanese counterparts that have maintained their reputation and credibility since 1945.
Walton: Battle of Britain Suite
This music was partially used for the film The Battle of Britain, but Walton’s score is a virtuoso piece for the concert hall, too.
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 7 “Leningrad”
Shostakovich’s epic symphony was written and premiered during the siege of Leningrad in 1942.
Wang: Symphony No.2 “The War of Resistance Against Japan”
A patriotic Chinese symphony depicting the fight against the Japanese.
Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture
This is outside the twentieth century (the main focus of this site), but is perhaps the clearest example of the genre … and this performance is by the Japan Self-Defense Force band with howitzers.
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