Tag Archives: Shostakovich

Shostakovich – Michelangelo Suite

Michelangelo (1475-1564), in addition to dominating renaissance art, wrote more than 300 sonnets and madrigals. Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-75) set 11 of the sonnets to music shortly before he died. The Michelangelo Suite was originally written for bass and piano (op 145). Shostakovich then orchestrated the songs (op 145a) making the piece even more powerful and…


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Shostakovich: The Nose

Below is a complete performance of Shostakovich’s first opera The Nose. I have previously written about he opera – here. As I mentioned in that earlier post the opera needs to be seen to be fully appreciated. This 1979 staging has English subtitles. The 21 year old composer’s exuberance explodes off of the stage. The orchestral…


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Illicit Love

Opera abounds in love duets. Here are three that define both their genre and their time. All three involve a man (a tenor, of course) in love, or in lust in the last example, with another man’s wife. Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera and Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde were written about the same time – the…


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Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk – Amsterdam 2006

Written when the composer was only 26, Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk is the greatest opera written after the death of Puccini. It’s combination of satire, suffering, audacity, energy, inspired vulgarity, and youthful abandon make it unique on the lyric stage. Add to this perhaps the most brilliant score ever written for the theater and you…


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Cleveland Orchestra Plays Beethoven and Shostakovich in Miami

Not surprisingly the Cleveland Orchestra spends part of the winter in Miami. On Saturday evening February 28 the band, led by its Music Director Franz Welser-Möst, played Beethoven’s 5th Symphony followed after the intermission by Shostakovich’s 10th Symphony. The venue was the Knight Concert Hall. They had played the same composers’ 3rd and 6th symphonies…


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The Nose in HD

The nose know what the nose knows Jimmy Durante Dmitri Shostakovich’s first opera, The Nose, was telecast today. Written when the composer was 21 years old. It is an extraordinary work that can only make its point when seen.  It’s a tour de force heavily influenced by Berg’s Wozzeck.  It is a combination of Arnold…


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Shostakovich Plays Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906 – 1975) is primarily known as the greatest composer born in the 20th century; though he started out as a pianist. He largely gave up playing to concentrate on composing when he was very young. But later in life he did occasionally perform as piano soloist, though only playing his own compositions. The current Recording…


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