VENIAMIN FLEISHMAN (1913-1941): Rothschild's Violin (Jacek Janiszewski [bass], Elena Gabouri [mezzo], Andris Lapins [tenor]), DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975): The Gamblers, Op. 63 (Michal Lehotsky [tenor], Peter Danailov [baritone], Roman Astakhov [bass]).
Catalogue Number: 12J100
Description: Shostakovich's gift to his student Fleishman, killed in late 1941 defending Leningrad, was the completion of his unfinished, one-act opera after Chekhov. This 37-minute work also shows Fleishman's postmortem gift to his teacher: its use of Jewish motifs and melodies inspired Shostakovich to a lifelong love of the idiom (he wrote the song-cycle From Jewish Folk Poetry only four years later in 1948). The Gamblers was left about one-third complete in 1942 when Shostakovich realized that setting all of Gogol's text would make the opera far too long. So we have a 46-minute fragment, complete until it ends, of course, which, though written right after the Leningrad Symphony, looks back to the cheeky, astringent and grotesque styles of The Nose and the 1920s and 30s theatre music. 2 CDs. English translations. Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; Vasily Petrenko.