Music Composers Unite!
A scene from lady.
"In fact, Lady MacBeth was wildly popular with audiences."
Well said, Fredrick. Let's make it wildly popular here, too, if it isn't already. Here's a link for those who have not heard it, or those who want to hear it again. Perhaps it's the greatest opera of the Twentieth Century! This a good (and fairly erotic) version.
Regarding the "happiest day of his life," I thought I read it was the day when the Limpid Brook premiered, in 1935.
As he wrote to his best friend: "After hearing Stalin I completely lost any sense of moderation and shouted 'Hurrah!' along with the whole hall and applauded endlessly...Certainly, this is the happiest day of my life: I saw and heard Stalin."
That seems well documented, and many people who write about Shostakovich quote that letter. Of course, Shostakovich grew less "happy" with Stalin, especially after the purges and show trials of 1936-1937. Still, I don't find any concrete evidence to indicate that Shostakovich said the day Stalin died was "the happiest day of his life." It might be true he was happy that day. He might have been sad and conflicted. He might have been drunk and depressed. Personally, I don't know.
Perhaps you could say where that information comes from. Is it from Testimony: The Memoirs of Dmitri Shostakovich ? Some people have questioned the authenticity and accuracy of many parts of the book. I do love the movie based on it though, with Ben Kingsley playing Shostakovich.
Well, if you want the original spirit of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, without the music, you can read the novella.
It's by Nikolai Leskov.
You had said,
"I would have liked to see the film without the operatic melody lines and just the spoken word dialog."
I simply thought the best way to see (or read) "just the spoken word dialogue," would be to consult the novel, which is rather short. If I knew of a dramatic version, a play or television performance of the text, I would have recommended that. Unfortunately, I don't think there is one (though there are a few other versions of this opera online).
If you don't have the time to read the novella, that's fine, no problem.
(I simply happen to be a great admirer of Russian literature, and Russian opera, symphonic music, art and culture in general).
I love that play, and it's perhaps only second in my mind to The Three Sisters.
Peter Brown said:
I played Ivan Petrovitch Voynitski in 'Uncle Vanya'. The play by Anton Chekhov at the Hole In The Wall theater in New Britain CT.
And yes, as you might presume, I can have a very heavy Russian accent when I want to wear one. Ivanov and Chekhov are my favorite Russian authors. :-)
Thanks for offering.
Why not post it right here?
This thread is a kind of "grab bag" for all sorts of interesting things.