Libretto by Boris Kochno after Pushkin's story `The Little House in Kolomna' (R,E,F,G,I,S)
3(III=picc).2.corA.2.Ebcl.2-188.8.131.52-timp-strings(2vln.1vla.full complement of vlc and db)
Version arranged for chamber ensemble by Paul Phillips:
fl(=picc).Ebcl(=Bbcl & Acl).Acl(=bcl)-pft-vln.db
Version arranged for chamber ensemble by Winfried Radeke:
This intimate opera buffa for Diaghilev takes place in a middle class home situated in a small Russian town, ca. 1840. Parasha, in love with Basil, contrives to have Basil engaged as the family cook. He flees through a window when discovered shaving his beard. Stravinsky conceived Mavra as an homage to Pushkin, Glinka, and Tchaikovsky, all of whom elegantly "united the most characteristically Russian elements with the spiritual riches of the West." Including two arias, a duet, and a quartet, the score invokes Russo-Italian operatic conventions. This affectionate impulse does not, however, preclude a mordant satire on bourgeois manners. The love duet, with its fervent endearments and symphonic ejaculations, is a hilarious parody of the Romeo-and-Juliet genre.
This programme note can be reproduced free of charge in concert programmes with credit to Boosey & Hawkes/Joseph Horowitz.