I have loved this symphony from the first time I heard it. The 1st movement of the 9th is so unlike this, all happy and salubrious. And he got into a lot of trouble in the USSR for this work because the authorities were expecting a big 9th, like Beethoven’s 9th, in celebration of the hard won victory over fascism (WWII), an expectation that Shostakovich himself did in no small part engender. So, when they heard it they were pissed.
To me its a bit fearful, slightly haunting, sombre, a bit of creepy suspense, without being depessing, but curious, inquisitive. I wanted to listen to the end to see if it got more cheerful. Altogether a wierd piece,