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ROTHSCHILDS GEIGE. Oper in 1 Akt nach der
gleichnamigen Erzählung von Anton Tschechow

Composer: Shostakovich, Dmitri
Fleischmann, Benjamin
Lyricists: Fleischmann, Benjamin (Libretto)
Playing time: 45:00
Opus/Year: (1944)
Genre: Opera
Instrumentation: 3(Picc),3(EnglHorn),3(Es-Klar),3(KFag) – 4,3,3,1 – Pk, Schl (Trgl, Tamb, kl.Tr, gr.Tr, Bk, Glsp), Harfe, Streicher - MS, 2 T, B, Männerchor Kammerversion (Gerd Jünemann) : 1,0,1,1 – 0,1,1,0 – Klav, Streicher (1/1/1/1/1)
Premiere performance: 20.04.1968 / Moscow / RUS

Content:

The coffin-maker Ivanov, called Bronze, is a violinist in a small Jewish orchestra in his home town that regularly plays at weddings and funerals. At a feast, Bronze gets into an argument with the flutist Rothschild, whom he accuses of transforming even the most cheerful melodies into sad ones. The coffin-maker runs away and ponders the meaning of life. As a carpenter of coffins, he is very interested in as many people dying as possible. But when his wife Marfa dies, he is severely affected by the event, and a profound change of attitude takes place within him. In a long monologue he ponders how quickly and meaninglessly life goes by; if there were not so much hate and evil, all people could live together happily. Led by this insight, he gives his violin to Rothschild, whom he has until now only criticised and humiliated, and he lies down to die contentedly. Rothschild immediately coaxes one of his sad melodies from the instrument.

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