They played Beethoven's Egmont Overture, Dvorak's Serenade for Winds and Strings (Op. 44) and Shostakovich's 5th Symphony.
"In the finale," said Shostakovich, at the time it was written (the height of the Stalinist régime), "the tragically tense impulses of the earlier movements are resolved in optimism and the joy of living." After his death a memoir was published that described it differently:
The rejoicing is forced, created under threat. It's as if someone were beating you with a stick and saying, 'Your business is rejoicing, your business is rejoicing,' ... You have to be a complete oaf not to hear that.It is tremendously exciting music. The last movement reconsiders the fierce, wistful or ironic themes from the previous movements, making prominent use of drums, flute, harp, piano and cymbals, builds to a dissonant climax, and ends, gritting its teeth, so to speak, in the major key. I was on the edge of my seat!