Shostakovich - The Nose (2009)

Shostakovich

Mariinsky Orchestra

Valery Gergiev

Where did it all start?
Dmitri Dmitrievich Shostakovich was twenty two years old when he completed his first opera, The Nose, in 1928.  Not even Mozart and Rossini had created operas of such interest by this age. With The Nose, Shostakovich produced a score which was both a striking composition in its novelty and creative richness - a contemporaneous expression of his reflections on current art - and a map holding the key to his future work in symphony and opera (two were to follow, including the unfinished The Gamblers.

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Valery Gergiev

Valery Gergiev is Principal Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Director of the Stars of the White Nights Festival (St Petersburg), the Moscow Easter Festival, the Gergiev Rotterdam Festival, the Mikkeli International Festival, and the Red Sea Festival in Eilat, Israel. His inspired leadership as Artistic and General Director of the Mariinsky Theatre since 1988 has brought universal acclaim to this legendary institution. Born in Moscow, he studied conducting with Ilya Musin at the Leningrad Conservatory, won the Herbert von Karajan Conductors’ Competition aged 24, and made his Mariinsky Opera debut one year later conducting Prokofiev’s War and Peace. In 2003 he led St Petersburg’s 300th anniversary celebrations, and opened the Carnegie Hall season with the Mariinsky Orchestra,the first Russian conductor to do so since Tchaikovsky conducted the Hall’s inaugural concert in 1891. Valery Gergiev’s many awards include a Grammy, the Dmitri Shostakovich Award, the Golden Mask Award, People’s Artist of Russia Award, and France’s Royal Order of the Legion of Honour. His vast discography includes Russian operas, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, and Tchaikovsky Symphonies, and numerous discs on the LSO Live and Mariinsky labels, including a Mahler Symphony cycle, Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle, Wagner’s Parsifal, Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, and a disc of Debussy’s music.

Mariinsky Orchestra

The Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra or the Kirov Orchestra is located in the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia. The orchestra was founded in 1783 during the reign of Catherine the Great, it was known before the revolution as the Russian Imperial Opera Orchestra. The orchestra is one of the oldest musical institutions in Russia.

In 1935 Joseph Stalin changed its name (and that of the Ballet) to the Kirov, after Sergei Kirov, the first secretary of the Communist Party in Leningrad, whose 1934 murder by his regime Stalin was attempting to whitewash. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the name was changed back to the Mariinsky in 1992.

The current artistic and general director of the Mariinsky Theatre is the conductor Valery Gergiev and the principal guest conductor is Nikolaj Znaider. Under Gergiev, the Mariinsky Orchestra has become one of the leading symphony orchestras in Russia.

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Shostakovich - The Nose (2009)

Shostakovich

Mariinsky Orchestra

    The Telegraph -

"With close to 80 singing roles, albeit some of them have only a couple of lines, Shostakovich’s first opera, The Nose, is a major logistical undertaking, to say nothing of its sheer complexity and the tricky contours and co-ordination of the vocal lines and spiky instrumentation. As one of the singers at the 1930 Leningrad premiere remarked, “It was difficult to present the opera in such a way that something useful and interesting might come out of our efforts.” Times have moved on, however, and The Nose has proved to be both dramatically feasible and musically vibrant ever since its rescue from official Soviet obscurity in 1974. This sharply observed recording from the Mariinsky Theatre transcends the snags, harnessing the score’s avant-garde idiom together with its thrusts of mordant Gogolian satire, its cunning musical characterization and whirlwind fantasy to reveal the opera in all its bizarre brilliance. 5 Star Rating."

Geoffrey Norris from The Telegraph[read full review]

    All Music

"As the indefatigable Valery Gergiev works his way through the standard and not-so-standard repertoire of Russian opera, it's a delight that he has turned his attention to Shostakovich's astonishing The Nose, written when the composer was just 22. The opera is astonishing not only because of the young composer's absolute mastery of one of the most difficult art forms (which makes it all the more tragic that he completed only two operas), but because of the daring originality of his music, which is ideally suited to the absurdist story by Gogol on which it's based. (The British musicologist Arthur Jacobs called The Nose "the comic Wozzeck.") The opera is full of alarming and incongruous but entirely convincing musical turns. Virtually the only predictable thing about it is its lack of predictability. The zany and eccentric orchestration, which prominently features the percussion, is unlike quite anything that had come before it. Shostakovich's vocal writing is mostly atonal, but it's relatively lyrical, without the angularity that frequently characterizes atonal vocal writing. Gergiev leads the Chorus and Orchestra and soloists of the Mariinsky Theater in a colorful and propulsive reading that fully exposes the brash quirkiness of the score. The opera has over 80 characters, and even with extensive doubling of minor roles, the vocal resources it requires are huge. It's very much an ensemble piece, and the Mariinsky singers perform it with polish and gusto. Vladislas Sulimsky and Sergey Semishkur are especially effective in the critical roles of the hapless Kovalev and his errant nose. The sound of the DSD recording is vibrant and clean, with a terrific sense of presence and immediacy. Highly recommended for any fans of modern opera. 5 Star Rating."

Stephen Eddins of All Music[read full review]

Shostakovich - The Nose (2009)

Shostakovich

Mariinsky Orchestra

Mastering Engineer: Mark Donahue, (Sound Mirror)
Producer: James Mallinson
Recording Engineer: John Newton, Dirk Sobotka (Sound Mirror)
Recording location: Marinksy concert hall
Recording Software: Merging
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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MAR0501: Shostakovich - The Nose
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Tracks.
1.
Shostakovich- The Nose - Act I- i. Prologue- tebia, Ivan Yakovleviche
Shostakovich
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2.
Shostakovich- The Nose - Act I- ii. Scene I- The barber shop of Ivan Yakovlevich. A Segodnia ya
Shostakovich
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3.
Shostakovich- The Nose - Act I- iii. Scene II- The embankment. Podymi! Von ty chto-to uronil.
Shostakovich
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4.
Shostakovich- The Nose - Act I- iv. Interlude
Shostakovich
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5.
Shostakovich- The Nose - Act I- v. Scene III- Kovalev's bedroom. Brr. Brr. Brr, brr.
Shostakovich
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6.
Shostakovich- The Nose - Act I- vi. Galop
Shostakovich
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7.
Shostakovich- The Nose - Act I- vii. Scene IV- Kazan Cathedral. A.. A.. A
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8.
Shostakovich- The Nose - Act II- i. Prologue- U sebia politsmeister?
Shostakovich
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9.
Shostakovich- The Nose - Act II- ii. Scene V- At the newspaper office. Poverite li, sudar'
Shostakovich
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10.
Shostakovich- The Nose - Act II- iii. Interlude
Shostakovich
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11.
Shostakovich- The Nose - Act II- iv. Scene VI- Kovalev's apartment. Nepobedimoi siloit
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12.
Shostakovich- The Nose - Act III- i. Scene VII- Outskirts of St Petersburg. Vlast'iu moei daetsia...
Shostakovich
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13.
Shostakovich- The Nose - Act III- ii. Scene VIII- Kovalev's apartment and Podtochina's apartment. Zd
Shostakovich
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14.
Shostakovich- The Nose - Act III- iii. Interlude- Nos Maior Kovaleva progulivaetsia zdes
Shostakovich
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15.
Shostakovich- The Nose - Act III- iv. Kovalev's apartment. Vot on! Vot on! Nos!
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16.
Shostakovich- The Nose - Act III- v. Nevsky Prospect. Zdravstvuite, Platon Kuzmich!
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