Friday’s Something Else (Shostakovich)
A while ago I came across Gogol’s The Inspector-general and found it hilarious. Seeing as how I’m currently visiting mum and her house is a repository of world literature, I set out to read some more Gogol. Those who have read it/seen the opera know what a strangely amusing story The Nose is. So I once again braved Shostakovich’s take on it, hoping I’d cope better now that I know and like the story.
I think the music fits the spirit of the work to a t but… well, it’s really hard going. 4 minutes in there’s a high soprano inducing decibel violence on her character’s good for nothing husband, the unskilled “Figaro” who most likely dislocated the nose in the first place. I don’t know who’s more punished, him or me. There are reasons to skip ahead to the moments where Kovalyov meets his nose in church or when the nose returns to him in its original form (no more high sopranos) but I don’t know that I can sit through it in one go… A good case for words before the music – here’s a link to the text.