Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Gambler

I went to see Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev's opera The Gambler (1929, during his exile from Russia), based on the novel by Dostoevsky. Until I saw it in the Metropolitan Opera's schedule, I didn't know it existed. Valery Gergiev was conducting. I liked The Fiery Angel (1927) and Betrothal in a Monastery (1941) quite a lot and thought I might like this, too.

I didn't. Musically I remember staccato trombones and tubas, heavy annoying voices and very little else. The plot is annoying if you have no interest in gambling. I made it only about half way through.

P.S. Further research tells me that Prokofiev's The Gambler was first performed in 1929, but it was written during World War I, before the October revolution. This makes it early Prokofiev. Contemporary with Fiery Angel made no sense at all.

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