The Big Lightning (also sometimes The Great Lightning, Russian: Большая молния, Bolshaya molniya) is an unfinished opera sketched in 1932 by Dmitri Shostakovich. The manuscript was found by Olga Digonskaya.[1] Some of the musical material was borrowed from the earlier composition, Hypothetically Murdered, Op. 31. The music for the Big Lightning was eventually scrapped and reworked into Orango,[2] because of his lack of confidence in the libretto.[3] Shostakovich only managed to write the overture and eight following pieces,[1] which lasts about 17 minutes. The original title may have been Nail in the Powder. The opera contains parodies of Glière's The Red Poppy, and Beethoven's Rage Over a Lost Penny.[1]

The work was commissioned by the Maly Theatre,[3] and the libretto was written Nikolai Aseev, and was about a team of Soviet specialists on a visit to America.[4] It premiered 11 February 1981, Leningrad, Large Philharmonic Hall, conducted by Gennady Rozhdestvensky, who also made the premiere recording.[1]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d Schostakowitsch Werkverzeichnis, p. 65. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
  2. ^ Kirkman, Andrew; Ivashkin, Alexander (28 January 2013). Contemplating Shostakovich: Life, Music and Film. Ashgate Publishing. p. 6. ISBN 9781409472025. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
  3. ^ a b Fairclough, Pauline; Fanning, David (30 October 2008). The Cambridge Companion to Shostakovich. Cambridge Companions to Music. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 195. ISBN 9781139827386. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
  4. ^ Fairclough, Pauline (11 November 2010). Shostakovich Studies 2. Cambridge University Press. p. 30. ISBN 9780521111188. Retrieved 12 January 2015.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)