- The Nose, opera, Op. 15
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With this release, the Mariinsky Theatre proudly launches its own record label, which will draw on the theatre’s rich legacy and historical ties to the great Russian composers. It will showcase the extraordinary talent within the theatre and orchestra, presenting works that are both familiar and less well known. Under the leadership of Valery Gergiev, the Mariinsky’s international reputation has grown through frequent touring and recordings. It recently reverted to the Mariinsky name, having previously been known more widely by its Communist-era name of Kirov. The Nose is one of the young Shostakovich’s greatest masterpieces, an electrifying tour de force of vocal acrobatics, wild instrumental colors, and theatrical absurdity. In his first dramatic work the composer immediately showed himself to be a master of musical drama, as well as a born avant-garde experimenter. The plot is based on the one of the most famous stories in Russian literature. A pompous government official, Kovalyov, wakes up one day to find that his nose has taken on a life of its own and gone for a walk around the city of St. Petersburg. The result, in Shostakovich’s ruthlessly irreverent hands, is like an operatic version of Monty Python. From the Label