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DVD Spotlight

Shostakovich's Shocker

'Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk' -
reviewed by
ROBERT ANDERSON

'... fully appropriate disorder ...'

Shostakovich: Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. © 2006 De Nederlandse Opera/Opus Arte

Mtsensk is a little further from Moscow than Ipswich is from London. As yet the Suffolk town has not inspired an opera. When it eventually arrives, I would not expect our dear Queen to be any more enamoured of it than Stalin was of Shostakovich's shocker. The consequences to the composer, however, would be less drastic. How far my tastes and Stalin's ever coincided I cannot be bothered to investigate. But this is not my favourite twentieth-century opera; indeed Shostakovich can keep company with Berg and Zimmermann somewhere near the bottom of my list. They would of course be missed, but this Lady Macbeth leaves her Scottish prototype nowhere.

Eva-Maria Westbroek as Katerina Lvovna Ismailova. DVD screenshot © 2006 De Nederlandse Opera/Opus Arte
Eva-Maria Westbroek as Katerina Lvovna Ismailova. DVD screenshot © 2006 De Nederlandse Opera/Opus Arte

 

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Copyright © 10 February 2007 Robert Anderson, London UK

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