Shchedrin’s ‘concert opera’ The Enchanted Wanderer was premiered in New York in 2002 and did not receive its Russian premiere until 2007. However it has rapidly entered the Mariinsky Theatre’s repertory, being performed in St Petersburg and on tour.
Based on a story by the 19th-century Russian author Nikolai Leskov, the opera is steeped in Russian folklore and beliefs. It tells the story of Ivan, a young man who, in the course of his travels, flogs a monk to death, is captured and tortured by the Tatars, joins a prince’s retinue as horse trainer, loves and loses (to said prince) a Gypsy woman whom he subsequently kills at her own request, and is ultimately led by her ghost to a monastery, where he takes holy orders to atone for his deeds.
The release also features four fragments from Shchedrin’s 1955 ballet score The Little Humbacked Horse and his 1963 Concerto for Orchestra Naughty Limericks.