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Dmitri Schostakowitsch: Die Nase

  • Opera in 3 acts and 1 epilogue (1927/1928)
  • 1 1 1 1 - 1 1 1 0 - Balalaika, Kleine Domra, Kleine Domra, Alt-Domra, Alt-Domra, 1. Teil d. Part (frz.), 2. Teil d. Part (frz.), perc(9), hp(2), pno, str(18 16 14 12 10)
  • Duration: 105’
  • Instrumentation details:
    flute (+piccolo, Afl.(G))
    oboe (+c.a.)
    clarinet in B (+Eb- and bass cl.)
    bassoon (+cbsn.)
    horn in F
    trumpet in B (+Kornett)
    trombone
    1. harp
    2. harp
    pno
    Balalaika(4) (altosrnativ: 1. small Domra
    2. small Domra
    1. alto-Domra
    2. alto-Domra)
    perc(9)
    violin I(9)
    violin II(8)
    viola(7)
    violoncello(6)
    contrabass(5)
  • Choir: SATB
  • Roles: Platon Kusmitsch Kowaljoff: baritone Iwan Jakowlewitsch: bass baritone Ein Wachtmeister: very high tenor Iwan: tenor The nose in the form of a state council: tenor Alexandra Grigorjewna Podtotschina: mezzo-soprano their daughters: sopranos 3 little roles some speaking parts 17 soloists from the choir
  • Composer: Dmitri Schostakowitsch
  • Librettist: Dmitri Schostakowitsch
  • Writer of pre-existing text: Nikolai W. Gogol
  • Piano reduction: Karl Götz
  • Translator: Karl Heinz FüsslHelmut WagnerMerle PufferMichel AnceyEdward DownesFedele D´Amico
  • Table of contents:
    Die Nase

Work introduction

With his first opera The Nose, youngblood Shostakovich produced a work typical of the Roaring Twenties, shortly after Krenek’s Jonny spielt auf and almost simultaneously with Weill’s Threepenny Opera. Inspired by Gogol’s sardonically absurd, socially critical story, Shostakovich composed spirited, lighthearted music in 16 short, consecutive scenes. Yet all of its various styles – circus music, galopp, polka, Russian Orthodox melody, folk tunes (there are four balalaikas in the orchestra) – became material for an annihilating critique of Russian society, still hierarchical and obsessed with authoritarianism 70 years after Gogol’s death.

Audiosamples

The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

World première

Location:
Leningrad (RU)
Date:
18.01.1930
Conductor:
Samuel Samossud

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