Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky Записки из Мёртвого дома

The Stetson University Chamber Orchestra is performing Leoš Janáček Idyll for string orchestra on April 3rd 2012. In order to become more familiar with the works of Janáček
I listened to a CD of his opera I had bought while I was in high school. When I found out the libretto and contents of the opera are based of a Russian writer's work I had to post the connection. This is the last opera that Janáček wrote before he died, it is said he read Dostoevsky's novel in Russian so that he could translate himself, when preparing to write the libretto.

The opera itself is very dreary in context and very static in character development and story. There are essentially four characters, all of whom are prisoners, who relate the reasons for why they are currently imprisoned. What follows is the overture to the opera, the music is not like Janáček's fello Czech countrymen, Smetana and Dvorak, the music is very drab yet fiery. One can hear that he was on the last few months of his life in the music.

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