Boosey & Hawkes Composer News

Search Catalogue

FEATURED COMPOSERS
Shostakovich, DmitriThe Nose op. 15 (1927-28) 103'
A satirical opera in three acts

Music Text  
Libretto by Yevgeni Zamyatin, Georgi Ionin, Alexander Preis and the composer, based on the short story by Nikolai Gogol (R)

Scoring
82 singing/speaking parts which can be doubled by up to 14 solo singers; SATB chorus 1(=picc).1(=corA).1(=Ebcl,bcl).1(=dbn)-1.1(=cornet).1(=btrbn).0-perc:tgl/tamb/cast/SD/tom-t/rattle/ cyms/BD/gong/whistle/t.bells/glsp/xyl/flexatone-2harps-small and alto domras-2balalaikas-pft-strings(reduced section with five-string double basses specified) This work is represented by Boosey & Hawkes in the UK, British Commonwealth (excluding Canada), Republic of Ireland, mainland China, Korea and Taiwan.
Abbreviations (PDF).

Territory
This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the UK, the countries of the Commonwealth (excluding Canada), Republic of Ireland, mainland China, Korea and Taiwan.


For full details on this stagework, including synopsis and roles, please visit our Opera section.


World premiere incomplete
6/16/1929
Malyi Opera Theatre, Leningrad
Malyi Opera


World stage premiere
1/18/1930
Academy of Arts, Leningrad
Nikolai Smolich, director / Small Opera Theatre of the Academy of Arts, Leningrad / Samuil Samosud


Repertoire Note  
A satirical opera in three acts.  Libretto by Yevgeni Zamyatin, Georgi Ionin, Aleksandr Preis, and the composer, based on the short story ‘The Nose’ by Nikolai Gogol.

‘The Nose’ is one of the young Shostakovich’s greatest masterpieces, an electrifying tour de force of vocal acrobatics, wild instrumental colours and theatrical absurdity, all shot through with a blistering mixture of laughter and rage. In his first dramatic work the composer immediately showed himself to be a master of musical drama, as well as a born avant-garde experimenter, equally at home with the theatrical modernism of his mentor, the great theatre-director Vsevolod Meyerhold, and the musical modernism of Alban Berg (Berg’s ‘Wozzeck’ had made a tremendous impression on Shostakovich when it was staged in Leningrad).

The plot is based on the one of the most famous stories in Russian literature. A pompous government official, Kovalyov, wakes up one day to find that his nose has taken on a life of its own and gone for a walk around the city of St.Petersburg. In a sequence of scenes that follow one another with cinematic swiftness, we follow Kovalyov’s increasingly ridiculous attempts to chase after his nose, recapture it and stick it back on his face. On the way we encounter singing policemen, a drunken barber, an early 19th century newspaper office, a cathedral choir and the Persian Ambassador. The result, in Shostakovich’s ruthlessly irreverent hands, is like an operatic version of Charlie Chaplin or Monty Python.

Although ‘The Nose’ has been revived with enormous success from time to time, its performances have never been as frequent as this brilliant work deserves. This is a pity, for despite its magnificently absurd subject and virtuosic music, ‘The Nose’ is a perfectly practical work and provides a hugely entertaining evening in the theatre.

Note by Gerard McBurney.

Recommended Recording
Edvard Akimov, Valery Belykh, Nina Sasulova, Boris Tarkhov, Boris Druzhinin, Aleksandr Lomonosov, Igor Paramonov, Valery Solovyanov, Lyudmila Sokolenko, Ashot Sarkisov, Alexander Braim, Lyudmila Sapegina, Lyudmila Ukolova, Moscow Chamber Theatre Chorus, Moscow Chamber Theatre Orchestra, Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
Melodiya 74321603192

Click here to purchase this CD set from Amazon






Mailing List

Sign up for news updates and offers via email

SIGN UP
Audio Visual Gallery
Get Adobe Flash player
ONLINE SCORES

Explore our library of over 1000 online scores

VIEW SCORES
FAQ | Contact Us | Links | About Us | Shop Directory | Careers | Terms of use | RSS Index