Classical review: Shostakovich: The Nose, Sulimsky/Tanovitski/Semishkur/Bezzubenkov/Vitman/Mariinsky Chorus O/Gergiev


A new version of Shostakovich's first opera is badly needed, and this one, recorded at the Mariinsky concert hall in St Petersburg last July and released to launch the Mariinsky's own CD label, fills the gap definitively. Valery Gergiev perfectly catches the grotesqueries and acerbic satire of the work, based upon Gogol's short story. The vividness of the recording catches all the raw-edged detail of a score that amalgamates a range of modernist influences against a background of Rimsky-Korsakov's final opera, The Golden Cockerel, and Gergiev revels in its youthful exuberance. With a cast of some 70 named characters, it's a perfect work for a company like the Mariinsky. The Nose may not be a work you want to hear very often, but when you do, it demands a performance as brilliantly realised as this.


Andrew Clements

The GuardianTramp

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