Ńhronicle
Works
Photo gallery
Shostakovich today
Our authors
Links




Īpus 15

"The Nose", opera in three acts, ten scenes based on the story
by N. Gogol

Libretto by Y. Zamyatin, G. Ionin, A. Preis and D. Shostakovich

It was completed in 1928

Duration:  109’20".
Premiere:  January 18, 1930. Leningrad State Academic Maly Opera Theatre. Director N. Smolich. Conductor S. Samosud). 
Manuscripts:  Score Universal Edition (Vienna); Individual pieces in the Russian State Archive for Literature and Art (Stack 2048, Inv.2, Item 30).
First Edition:  Moscow, "Muzfond" Publishers, 1970.
Piano Score, Leningrad "Sokol" Pubishers, 1929.


"...this subject attracted me through its fantastic, ridiculous content, presented by Gogol in an utterly realistic tone.
In "The Nose" Gogol, using the strange event of the loss of a nose by Collegiate Assessor, Kovalyov, creates a remarkable satire on the times of Nicholas I. He presents us with the image of the helpless and banal Kovalyov, who was unable to come up with anything better than announcing the loss of his nose in the newspaper; a dim-witted bureaucrat from the newspaper office; a local constable obsessed with administrative zeal; a bribe-taker; a drunkard barber with his nagging wife and many other characters - all typical in 
their triteness against the general background of an age dominated by bureaucrats and the police. This absorbing subject gives rise to many impressive theatrical situations."
(D. Shostakovich. "On the occasion of the premiere of "The Nose". "Rabochii i teatr", 1929, No.24))


"The emphasis here is on the presentation of the text. I should add, that the music does not have the flavour of a deliberate parody. No! In spite of the comic nature of what is happening on stage, the music is not comic. I consider this to be correct, because Gogol himself imparts to all his comic situations a serious 
tone. Herein lies the power and the true quality of Gogol's humour. He does not 'make fun'. The music also tries not to 'make fun'".
("Rabochii i teatr", 1930, No.3)


"The music is written not as a series of individual numbers, but as a continuous symphonic whole, without a pattern of leitmotifs. Each act is part of an integrated musical-theatrical symphony. A prominent place is accorded to the chorus and vocal ensembles..."
("Krasnaya Gazeta", July 24th).


"When writing this opera, I did not concentrate in the slightest on the fact that  an opera is first and foremost a musical work. In "The Nose" the elements of action and music are on a par. Neither occupies pride of place. In this way I tried to create a synthesis of music and theatrical performance"


Boris Pokrovsky:
"There are many fine operas, which - musically speaking - are not operas at all. It is just that the composer has written his music on a subject which adheres approximately to the demands of the genre, whereas a truly operatic work has to provide a synthesis of music and action.
The composer as a creator of opera also has to be a playwright. He is writing a drama in music. It is easy to stage the work of a composer of this kind in an opera house. All you need to do is to know the rules of his game and to be in step with him. Indeed, in 'The Nose' Shostakovich left the performers scope for a variety of approaches to their characters and the director scope for presenting the action. Yet the essence of the drama. the nature of the conflict and the dramatic tension were, without doubt, to be found in the music itself. Nothing was left to the imagination. Everything is in the music".
(From an interview given to the author. Published for the first time)
 

I. Sollertinsky:
"The audience does not watch an opera through the eyes of its heroes. Nor  does it identify with them. The audience makes its choices, it is active. The words used on stage are exploited to the full. Moreover, the main satirical device of Gogol's story is retained. Gogol, as a virtuoso story-teller, presents all Kovalyov's ridiculous adventures in a totally serious and matter-of-fact tone, which achieves the maximum comic effect. Shostakovich does exactly the same".
(1930).

 




Īpus 1
Opus 2
Īpus 3
Īpus 4
Opus 5
Īpus 6
Īpus 7
Īpus 8
Īpus 9
Īpus 10
Īpus 11
Īpus 12
Īpus 13
Īpus 14
Īpus 15
Īpus 15ą
Īpus 16
Īpus 17
Īpus 18
Īpus 19
Īpus 20
Īpus 21
Īpus 22
Īpus 23
Īpus 24
Īpus 25
Īpus 26
Īpus 27
Īpus 28
Īpus 29/114
Īpus 30
Īpus 31
Īpus 32
Īpus 33
Īpus 34
Īpus 35
Īpus 36
Opus 37
Īpus 38
Īpus 39
Īpus 40
Īpus 41
Īpus 41ą
Īpus 42
Īpus 43
Opus 44
Īpus 45
Īpus 46
Īpus 47
Īpus 48
Īpus 49
Īpus 50
Īpus 51
Īpus 52
Īpus 53
Īpus 54
Īpus 55
Īpus 56
Īpus 57
Īpus 58
Īpus 58ą
Īpus 59
Īpus 60
Īpus 61
Īpus 62
Īpus 63
Īpus 63ą
Īpus 64
Īpus 65
Īpus 66
Īpus 67
Īpus 68
Īpus 69
Īpus 70
Opus 71
Īpus 72
Īpus 73
Īpus 74
Īpus 75
Īpus 76
Īpus 77
Īpus 78
Īpus 79
Īpus 80
Īpus 81
Īpus 82
Īpus 83
Īpus 84
Īpus 85
Īpus 86
Īpus 87
Īpus 88
Īpus 89
Īpus 90
Īpus 91
Īpus 92
Īpus 93
Īpus 94
Īpus 95
Īpus 96
Īpus 97
Īpus 98
Opus 99
Opus 100
Opus 101
Opus 102
Opus 103
Opus 104
Opus 105
Opus 106
Opus 107
Opus 108
Opus 109
Opus 110
Opus 111
Opus 112
Opus 113
Opus 114/29
Opus 115
Opus 116
Opus 117
Opus 118
Opus 119
Opus 120
Opus 121
Opus 122
Opus 123
Opus 124
Opus 125
Opus 126
Opus 127
Opus 128
Opus 129
Opus 130
Opus 131
Opus 132
Opus 133
Opus 134
Opus 135
Opus 136
Opus 137
Opus 138
Opus 139
Opus 140/62
Opus 141
Opus 142
Opus 143
Opus 144
Opus 145
Opus 146
Opus 147

ŠÓŃ
ENG