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Shostakovich: The Nose – The Mariinsky Label

The Nose

Winner Best Opera Edison Awards
Winner Best Opera MIDEM Classical Awards
Choc de l'Année Classica
Disc of the Month
'Singers and orchestra negotiate the most complex ensembles in brilliantly idiomatic and conversational style.' BBC Music Magazine

  • Valery Gergiev conductor
    Mariinsky Orchestra & Chorus

    Vladislav Sulimsky Platon Kuzmich Kovalev
    Alexei Tanovitski Ivan Yakovlevich
    Tatiana Kravtsova Praskovya Osipovna
    Andrei Popov A district constable
    Sergei Semishkur The Nose
    Gennady Bezzubenkov A doctor
    Vadim Kravets Head of a newspaper advertisments department
    Sergei Skorokhodov Ivan
    Yevgeny Strashko Yaryzhkin
    Elena Vitman Pelageya Grigorievna Podtochina
    Zhanna Dombrovskaya Pelageya Grigorievna Podtochina's daughter

  • Total duration 110m20s

    Catalogue number MAR0501
    UPC 822231850120

    Recorded 15-23 July at the Mariinsky Concert Hall, St Petersburg
    Sung in Russian. Libretto in Russian & English

    James Mallinson producer
    John Newton & Dirk Sobotka recording engineers

    Includes multi-channel 5.1 and stereo mixes
    Notes in English / en Francais / auf Deutsch / на русском языке

  • Disc of the Month Opera Magazine
    Discos Excepcionales
    Orphée d'Or
    Academie du disque Lyrique
    Best Opera
    Edison Awards
    Caecilia Award
    Best Opera
    Midem Classical Awards 2010
    CDs of the Year
    Washington Post
    CDs of the Year
    Chicago Tribune
    CDs of the Year
    Boston Globe
    Choc de l'Année
    Nominated for Best Opera

    BBC Music Magazine Awards

    Nominated for Best Classical Album and Best Opera
    Grammy Awards 2010

    Disc of the Month 'Singers and orchestra negotiate the most complex ensembles in brilliantly idiomatic and conversational style... the recorded sound is absolutely superb in its crystal clarity and depth. The ultimate winner in this excellent release, however, is Shostakovich. Now we can clearly see that he was never so obviously the youth genius.'
    BBC Music Magazine

    Artistic Quality 10 Sound Quality 10
    'Sergei Semishkur sings the role of the Nose, and he manages well with the clownishly high tessitura. Ivan is correctly puzzling as sung by Alexei Tanovitski. Indeed, the whole cast is marvelous if you're looking for characterization and originality rather than lovely singing--this is theater at its most brazen Valery Gergiev, obviously in his element and with his own orchestra and (spectacular) chorus, gives the work form and pathos while making certain that absurdity and satire reign supreme. This is, by the way, the first release on the Mariinsky label and it's quite an auspicious start. Fabulous fun! ClassicsToday.com

    'The complete recording of The Nose is a special achievement... The conductor achieves such vibrancy, detail and spontaneity that the opera sounds like the product of a mature composer who had worked for may years on the piece... it's alarming how much sophistication is brought forth in the score, mixing folk melodies with harmonic extremity, and the avant-garde nature of the core and libretto comes through absolutely in Gergiev's wonderful reading. With a complete, clear libretto, informative essay by Leonid Gakkel and excellent playing from the Mariinsky Orchestra, there's much to enjoy here.'
    Musical Criticism.com

    'A new version of Shostakovich's first opera is badly needed and this one fills the gap definitively... Brilliantly realised.'
    The Guardian

    'This recording was made under studio conditions only last year, which is all to the good as the demands made on singers and players in The Nose require a precision of execution that live performances - however much they capture the heat of the moment - are unlikely to secure ... This release reaffirms The Nose as a testament to Shostakovich's creative ambition at a time when the artistic possibilities music have seemed limitless. In doing so, the Mariinsky labels could not have been more persuasively launched.'
    International Record Review

    'Shostakovich's prodigious, youthful satire - composed when he was only 21 - has been assiduously championed by Gergiev... Recorded under studio conditions in the Mariinsky's brand new concert hall, this version is notable for the brilliance of the orchestra's playing and the idiomatic delivery of the Gogol-based text by a new generation of Mariinsky voices. Both Vladislav Sulimsky as the noseless collegiate assessor, Kovalev, and Sergei Semishkur as his errant appendage perform with panache.'
    The Times

    ‘There’s an almost Webernian clarity, each change of colour meticulously logged… Gergiev allows us to see every detail.’ DSCH Journal


SACD hybrid - 2 discs

Valery Gergiev, Mariinsky soloists, Orchestra & Chous

Set in St Petersburg, Dmitri Shostakovich's satirical opera The Nose received its premier in 1930. Based on a short story by Nikolai Gogol, its absurdist plot revolves around the exploits of a pompous government official and his nose. After a visit to the barber, the nose absconds from the man's face and takes on a life of its own; the pretentious bureaucrat is reduced to desperation, frantically searching the city for his lost appendage.

Although primarily a comic opera, The Nose touches on the struggle between the individual and society - here portrayed by a cast of over 80 characters - and its spiky score is a 1920s modernist masterpiece from the prodigiously talented composer.

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