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Shostakovich: Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk [Original recording remastered]

Dmitri Shostakovich , Mstislav Rostropovich , London Philharmonic Orchestra , Galina Vishnevskaya , Nicolai Gedda , Ambrosian Opera Chorus Audio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)


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MP3 Music, 53 Songs, 2002 $18.99  
Audio CD, Original recording remastered, 2002 --  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 1, Erster Akt, Premier Acte, Scene 1, Erster Szene, Première Scène: Akh, Nye Spitsa Ból'she, Popróbuyu (Katerina)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Galina Vishnevskaya 2:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 1, Erster Akt, Premier Acte, Scene 1, Erster Szene, Première Scène: V dyévkakh lúchshe býlo (Katerina)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Galina Vishnevskaya 2:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 1, Erster Akt, Premier Acte, Scene 1, Erster Szene, Première Scène: Gribki sevódnya búdut? (Boris, Katerina)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Galina Vishnevskaya/Dimiter Petkov 3:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 1, Erster Akt, Premier Acte, Scene 1, Erster Szene, Première Scène: Prigotóv otrávu dlya krys (Boris, Katerina)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Galina Vishnevskaya/Dimiter Petkov 1:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 1, Erster Akt, Premier Acte, Scene 1, Erster Szene, Première Scène: Govorl! ...Plotinu-to na...(Zinoviy, Mill-hand,Boris, Chorus, Sergey,Coachman,Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Ambrosian Opera Chorus/Nicolai Gedda/Werner Krenn/Taru Valjakka/Leslie Fyson/Colin Appleton 2:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 1, Erster Akt, Premier Acte, Scene 1, Erster Szene, Première Scène: Proshcháy, Katerina (Zinoviy, Boris, Katerina)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Galina Vishnevskaya/Dimiter Petkov/Werner Krenn 2:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 1, Erster Akt, Premier Acte, Scene 1, Erster Szene, Première Scène: Chevó vstal? Chevó ostanovilsa? (Aksinya, Boris)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Dimiter Petkov/Taru Valjakka 1:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 1, Erster Akt, Premier Acte, Scene 1, Erster Szene, Première Scène: Interlude (Orchestra)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra 2:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 1, Erster Akt, Premier Acte, Scene 2, Zweite Szene, Deuxième Scène: Ay! Ay! Ay! (Aksinya, Shabby peasant, Porter, Chorus, Steward, Sergey)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Ambrosian Opera Chorus/Nicolai Gedda/Robert Tear/Taru Valjakka/Steven Emmerson/John Noble 2:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 1, Erster Akt, Premier Acte, Scene 2, Zweite Szene, Deuxième Scène: Bárynya!...Ay...Shto s tobóyu? (Shabby peasant, Aksinya, Katerina, Sergey)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Galina Vishnevskaya/Nicolai Gedda/Robert Tear/Taru Valjakka 2:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 1, Erster Akt, Premier Acte, Scene 2, Zweite Szene, Deuxième Scène: A nu-s, pozvól'te rúku-s (Sergey, Katerina, Shabby peasant, Boris)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Galina Vishnevskaya/Nicolai Gedda/Dimiter Petkov/Robert Tear 4:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 1, Erster Akt, Premier Acte, Scene 2, Zweite Szene, Deuxième Scène: Interlude (Orchestra)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra 1:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 1, Erster Akt, Premier Acte, Scene 3, Dritte Szene, Troisième Scène: Spat' porá. Dyen proshól (Katerina, Boris)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Galina Vishnevskaya/Dimiter Petkov 3:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 1, Erster Akt, Premier Acte, Scene 3, Dritte Szene, Troisième Scène: Zherebyónok k kobýlke torópitsa (Katerina)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Galina Vishnevskaya 5:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 1, Erster Akt, Premier Acte, Scene 3, Dritte Szene, Troisième Scène: Kto éto, kto, kto stuchit? (Katerina, Sergey)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Galina Vishnevskaya/Nicolai Gedda 3:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 1, Erster Akt, Premier Acte, Scene 3, Dritte Szene, Troisième Scène: Ya poydù...Proshcháy (Sergey, Katerina, Boris)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Galina Vishnevskaya/Nicolai Gedda/Dimiter Petkov 4:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 2, Zweiter Akt, Deucième Acte, Scene 4, Vierte Szene, Quatrième Scène: Shto znáchit stárost' (Boris)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Dimiter Petkov 2:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 2, Zweiter Akt, Deucième Acte, Scene 4, Vierte Szene, Quatrième Scène: Pod óknami u chuzhikh (Boris)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Dimiter Petkov 2:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 2, Zweiter Akt, Deucième Acte, Scene 4, Vierte Szene, Quatrième Scène: Proshcháy, Kátya, proscháay! (Sergey,Boris,Katerina,Chorus,Shabby peasant, PMstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Ambrosian Opera Chorus/Galina Vishnevskaya/Nicolai Gedda/Dimiter Petkov/Robert Tear/Steven Emmerson 4:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 2, Zweiter Akt, Deucième Acte, Scene 4, Vierte Szene, Quatrième Scène: Ustál!....Prikázhete mnye postegát'? (Boris, Porter, Katerina)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Galina Vishnevskaya/Dimiter Petkov/Steven Emmerson 2:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen21. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 2, Zweiter Akt, Deucième Acte, Scene 4, Vierte Szene, Quatrième Scène: V kladovúyu Sergéya záperli (Boris, Porter, Katerina)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Galina Vishnevskaya/Dimiter Petkov/Steven Emmerson 3:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen22. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 2, Zweiter Akt, Deucième Acte, Scene 4, Vierte Szene, Quatrième Scène: Vidno, skóro uzh zaryá (Chorus, Boris, Foremen, Priest)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Ambrosian Opera Chorus/Dimiter Petkov/Leonard Andrzej Mróz/Colin Appleton/Alan Byers/James Lewington 2:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen23. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 2, Zweiter Akt, Deucième Acte, Scene 4, Vierte Szene, Quatrième Scène: Bátya, ispovyédatsa (Boris, Priest, Foremen)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Dimiter Petkov/Leonard Andrzej Mróz/Colin Appleton/Alan Byers/James Lewington 1:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen24. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 2, Zweiter Akt, Deucième Acte, Scene 4, Vierte Szene, Quatrième Scène: Akh, Boris Timoféyevich (Katerina, Priest)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Galina Vishnevskaya/Leonard Andrzej Mróz 2:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen25. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 2, Zweiter Akt, Deucième Acte, Scene 4, Vierte Szene, Quatrième Scène: Interlude (Orchestra)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra 6:43$0.99  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 2, Zweiter Akt, Deucième Acte, Scene 5, Fünfte Szene, Cinquième Scène: Sergéy, Seryózha! (Katerina, Sergey)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Galina Vishnevskaya/Nicolai Gedda 1:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 2, Zweiter Akt, Deucième Acte, Scene 5, Fünfte Szene, Cinquième Scène: Kátya, prikhódit konyéts lyubvi náshey (Katerina, Sergey)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Galina Vishnevskaya/Nicolai Gedda 2:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 2, Zweiter Akt, Deucième Acte, Scene 5, Fünfte Szene, Cinquième Scène: Nye pechál'sa, Sergéy (Katerina, Sergey)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Galina Vishnevskaya/Nicolai Gedda 1:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 2, Zweiter Akt, Deucième Acte, Scene 5, Fünfte Szene, Cinquième Scène: Opyát usnúl (Katerina, Ghost of Boris)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Galina Vishnevskaya/Dimiter Petkov 2:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 2, Zweiter Akt, Deucième Acte, Scene 5, Fünfte Szene, Cinquième Scène: Nu? Chevó tebyé? (Sergey, Katerina)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Galina Vishnevskaya/Nicolai Gedda 2:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 2, Zweiter Akt, Deucième Acte, Scene 5, Fünfte Szene, Cinquième Scène: Slúshay, Sergéy, Sergéy! (Katerina, Sergey)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Galina Vishnevskaya/Nicolai Gedda 1:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 2, Zweiter Akt, Deucième Acte, Scene 5, Fünfte Szene, Cinquième Scène: Katerina!....Kto tam? (Zinoviy, Katerina, Sergey)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Ambrosian Opera Chorus/Galina Vishnevskaya/Nicolai Gedda/Dimiter Petkov/Werner Krenn/Robert Tear/Taru Valjakka/Birgit Finnilä/Aage Haugland/Martyn H 3:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 2, Zweiter Akt, Deucième Acte, Scene 5, Fünfte Szene, Cinquième Scène: Tepyér shabásh (Sergey, Katerina)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Galina Vishnevskaya/Nicolai Gedda 3:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 3, Dritter Akt, Troisième Acte, Scene 6, Sechste Szene, Sixième Scène: Shto ty tut stoish? (Sergey, Katerina, Shabby pesant) ... Interlude (OrchestMstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Galina Vishnevskaya/Nicolai Gedda/Robert Tear 1:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 3, Dritter Akt, Troisième Acte, Scene 6, Sechste Szene, Sixième Scène: U menyá bylá kumá (Shabby peasant)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Robert Tear 3:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 3, Dritter Akt, Troisième Acte, Scene 6, Sechste Szene, Sixième Scène: Interlude (Orchestra)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Ambrosian Opera Chorus/Galina Vishnevskaya/Nicolai Gedda/Dimiter Petkov/Werner Krenn/Robert Tear/Taru Valjakka/Birgit Finnilä/Aage Haugland/Martyn H 1:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 3, Dritter Akt, Troisième Acte, Scene 7, Siebte Szene, Septième Scène: Sózdan politséysky byl vo vrémya onó (Sergeant, Policemen)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Aage Haugland/Oliver Broome 4:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 3, Dritter Akt, Troisième Acte, Scene 7, Siebte Szene, Septième Scène: U Izmaýlovoy seychás pir goróy (Sergeant, Policemen, Policman, Teacher)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Ambrosian Opera Chorus/Aage Haugland/Martyn Hill/Oliver Broome 2:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 3, Dritter Akt, Troisième Acte, Scene 7, Siebte Szene, Septième Scène: Váshe blagorodie!...Chevó tebyé (Shabby peasant, Sergeant, Policemen)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Robert Tear/Aage Haugland/Oliver Broome 1:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 3, Dritter Akt, Troisième Acte, Scene 7, Siebte Szene, Septième Scène: Interlude (Orchestra)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra 2:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 3, Dritter Akt, Troisième Acte, Scene 8, Achte Szene, Huitième Scène: Sláva suprúgam (Chorus, Priest, Katerina)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Ambrosian Opera Chorus/Galina Vishnevskaya/Leonard Andrzej Mróz 5:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 3, Dritter Akt, Troisième Acte, Scene 8, Achte Szene, Huitième Scène: Shto takóe? ..Zamók sórvan (Sergey, Chorus, Katerina, Priest, Drunken guest)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Ambrosian Opera Chorus/Galina Vishnevskaya/Nicolai Gedda/Leonard Andrzej Mróz/Edgar Fleet 1:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 3, Dritter Akt, Troisième Acte, Scene 8, Achte Szene, Huitième Scène: Shto takóe? Pózdno! (Katerina, Sergey, Policemen, Sergeant)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Ambrosian Opera Chorus/Galina Vishnevskaya/Nicolai Gedda/Dimiter Petkov/Werner Krenn/Robert Tear/Taru Valjakka/Birgit Finnilä/Aage Haugland/Martyn H 2:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 4, Vieter Akt, Quatrième Acte, Scene 9, Neunte Szene, Neuvième Scène: Vyórsty odna za drugóy (Old convict, Chorus)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Ambrosian Opera Chorus/Alexander Malta 6:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 4, Vieter Akt, Quatrième Acte, Scene 9, Neunte Szene, Neuvième Scène: Stepánych! Propusti menyá (Katerina, Sentry, Sergey)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Galina Vishnevskaya/Nicolai Gedda/David Beavan 3:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen21. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 4, Vieter Akt, Quatrième Acte, Scene 9, Neunte Szene, Neuvième Scène: Nye lekhkó pósle pochóta da poklónov (Katerina)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Galina Vishnevskaya 2:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen22. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 4, Vieter Akt, Quatrième Acte, Scene 9, Neunte Szene, Neuvième Scène: Moyó pochtyénye! (Sergey, Sonyetka)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Nicolai Gedda/Birgit Finnilä 2:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen23. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 4, Vieter Akt, Quatrième Acte, Scene 9, Neunte Szene, Neuvième Scène: Ládno dostánu! (Sergey, Katerina)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Galina Vishnevskaya/Nicolai Gedda 2:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen24. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 4, Vieter Akt, Quatrième Acte, Scene 9, Neunte Szene, Neuvième Scène: Na chulk! Idyóm.Tepyér ty moyá (Sergey,Sonyetka,Katerina,Chorus,Woman convictMstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Ambrosian Opera Chorus/Galina Vishnevskaya/Nicolai Gedda/Birgit Finnilä/Lynda Richardson 2:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen25. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 4, Vieter Akt, Quatrième Acte, Scene 9, Neunte Szene, Neuvième Scène: V lesú, v sámoy cháshche yest' ózero (Katerina)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Galina Vishnevskaya 3:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen26. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 4, Vieter Akt, Quatrième Acte, Scene 9, Neunte Szene, Neuvième Scène: Znáesh li, Sonyétka (Sergey, Sonyetka)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Nicolai Gedda/Birgit Finnilä 1:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen27. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 4, Vieter Akt, Quatrième Acte, Scene 9, Neunte Szene, Neuvième Scène: Vstaváy! Po mestám! Zh'vo (Officer, Chorus, Old convict)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Ambrosian Opera Chorus/Alexander Malta/Leslie Fyson 2:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen28. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (2002 Digital Remaster), Act 4, Vieter Akt, Quatrième Acte, Scene 9, Neunte Szene, Neuvième Scène: Akh!...Bózhe moy! Shto takóe? (Sonyetka, Chorus, Officer, Old convict)Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Ambrosian Opera Chorus/Birgit Finnilä/Alexander Malta/Leslie Fyson 4:06$0.99  Buy MP3 


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Product Details

  • Performer: Galina Vishnevskaya, Nicolai Gedda, Ambrosian Opera Chorus
  • Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Mstislav Rostropovich
  • Composer: Dmitri Shostakovich
  • Audio CD (April 9, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: EMI Classics
  • ASIN: B000063UM3
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #212,532 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Written between 1930 and 1932, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk was one of the most brilliant achievements of Shostakovich's long career. It was also the work that got him into trouble with Stalin. When the Soviet leader attended a performance in Moscow in 1936, almost two years after the opera's acclaimed Leningrad premiere, he personally ordered the publication of a scathing article in Pravda ("Muddle Instead of Music"), unleashing a ruthless campaign to reduce the arts in Soviet Russia to a state of dogmatic subservience to the regime. Lady Macbeth would disappear from the repertory for 30 years, and Shostakovich, despite his great gifts for opera, would focus his attention on symphonic and chamber music instead.

But what an opera this one was! Notwithstanding its title, it has nothing to do with Shakespeare's Macbeth and quite a lot to do with Dostoevsky (even though it's based on a story by another 19th-century writer, Nikolai Leskov). The plot has all the elements of a Russian epic--boredom, need, irresistible sexual longing, infidelity, murder, suicide--and the music is vintage Shostakovich, swinging between farce and tragedy with astonishing sureness, magnificently intense, deeply absorbing, yet approachable. The opera's climactic scenes are driven by music of incredible power, and there are pages of haunting lyric beauty as well, such as Katarina's aria in scene 3, or the extraordinary music that begins the love scene between Katarina and Sergey--mysterious, edgy, sensuous, and vast. It's all brought home on this recording, a labor of love from two of the composer's closest friends and greatest champions. Vishnevskaya, the great exponent of the role of Katarina, sings with untrammeled splendor, while Rostropovich, the supreme interpreter of the music of Shostakovich in our time, conducts a characterful, white-hot performance by the London Philharmonic. --Ted Libbey


Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stalin Didn't Like It Much! April 11, 2003
Format:Audio CD
Fewer works of opera have had such a troubled history and ruinous effect on a composer than Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. Anyone familiar with the life of the composer knows the story. Shostakovitch was a brilliant young Leningrad based composer who was deeply involved with the radical intellectual movements of his time, particularly the theatrical work of Mayakovsky. He had scored an early brilliant success with his student project, the Symphony No. 1 and his raucous operatic treatment of Gogol's The Nose. The prospects looked bright and when Lady Macbeth premiered it was wildly successful....until Stalin say it! The next day an article appeared in Pravda entitled :Chaos Instead of Music" and Shostakovitch was officially in disgrace...a state that cause the composer to withdraw his dark and compelling 4th symphony and which didn't really ease until the war years and the success of his Lenigrad Symphony. (And of course was repeated again after the war.) The real shame of this is that Lady Macbeth is arguably one of the greatest modern works of the operatic stage, along with Wozzeck, Peter Grimes, and maybe a few other works by Britten and Janacek.
The plot is primarily what angered Stalin...Lady Macbeth is a rather dark and erotic melodrama, which probably offended the former seminarian's latent puritanical sensibilities. Katerina, the opera's main character, is caught in a dull and lifeless marriage to a petty merchant. When she falls in love with a young worker, she first kills her father in law and then her husband. When discovered by the police, both she and her lover are sent to Siberia, where he abandons Katerina for another woman. Driven mad with jealousy and despair, Katerina pushes the other woman into a river, jumps in after her and both are drowned.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Modern Masterpiece January 13, 2003
By Rosomax
Format:Audio CD
Out of all the operas written in 20th century, "Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk" certainly stands out as being the richest in melodies and bravest in expression. It is truly the work of Genius. Shostakovich put all the power of his glorious talent for musical character sketching behind this work. In 1934 Dmitri Dmitrievich was reaching his prime, he was idealistic, and not yet taken through the years of communist punishment. In her autobiography "Galina", the singer explains that at the time the composer was also madly in love with his first wife. As a result, Katerina has some of the most beautiful music he had ever written. The men in the opera, by contrast, have the most brutal, alarming, and dark music. All the music carries shades of folksongs, but it's generous, expansive, and flowing for Katerina, and often syncopated, broken, harsh for the men. You can't help liking "Lady Macbeth" and feeling sorry for her. The opera is recorded with the great cast, but the two shining stars here are the incredible husband and wife team of Galina Vishnevskaya and Mstislav Rostropovich. Both great admirers, friends, and, in a way, pupils of the composer, exiles at the time of this recording, they put a personal touch to this opera, unmatched on record. The legendary prima donna of Bolshoi, Galina Vishnevskaya is her best here. Her immense voice adapts easily to extraordinary high demands of the role, from tender heartwarming pianissimos to powerful but always clear fff. When it comes to subtleties and vivid characterization, she has no equal. Plus, Katerina is one of her favorite roles, she has starred in the movie "Katerina Izmailova", and no matter how many recordings and productions of this opera you might see, you won't find anything to remotely resemble her performance. Read more ›
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Recording of a Great Performance September 22, 2002
Format:Audio CD
First, I must alert readers to more reviews of this recording in its earlier CD incarnation available farther down the list here on Amazon. This 2-disc, 2 1/2 hour set is re-remastered on EMI's new Prism SNS system. To my ears, it's sound is just about perfect. Beyond that, this performance of the opera that changed Shostakovich's life, led by Rostropovich from the podium and his wife, Galina Vishnevskaya, in the starring role, is intensely charged from beginning to end. As for the opera itself, it is very interesting, something of an expanded version of the sprawling 4th Symphony which followed it, exhibiting a similar athematic abandon, eclecticism of genres (from fugue and passacaglia to circus-like music and austere modernism, for instance), and huge climactic passages. It is both exciting and moving. The title may be a little misleading as to nature of Katerina Ismailova, the leading character. To me she seems to combine elements of Clytemnestra, Manon Lescaut and Emma Bovary, to fatal effect for those in her way. This set great modern operatic experience.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Since other people have already described the opera's content quite reasonably well cumulatively, I'll simply re-affirm and underscore their recommendations especially relative to the other two recordings I've heard of this piece: Gjérgijev (on [...] with his Kiróv-Mariínskiy Opera Company - NB, this recording of a live performance at London's Barbican Hall is not for commercial sale and needs a good internet connection to be properly appreciated) and Chung (on Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft initially, then Decca/London and last year again on Deutsche Grammophon).

Those who don't like Vishñévskaja's voice, in my opinion, will still find her much more classy and appealing - as well as orthodox in treating her part - compared to Ewing on the Chung recording. Although both take a few liberties with the occasional note and/or rhythm, there's no question that Vishñévskaja is far more convincing, respectful of the composer's intentions and tasteful (that she studied the part with Shostakóvich himself {they were very close friends!} is so obvious as to defy any attempt at refutation) - not to mention that her approach to the rôle is much more convincing. The same applies to Rostropóvich, even though brass-haters might gravitate to Chung on that basis (here the brass really let rip, though nobody is slighted all the same!).
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