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Encyclopedia > The Stone Guest

The Stone Guest is a poetic drama by Aleksandr Pushkin based on the Spanish legend of Don Juan. "The Stone Guest" was written in 1830 as part of his four short stories known as "The Little Tragedies". The Stone Guest was written after the familiar Don Juan legend, but while most traditional adaptations present it as farcical and comedic, Pushkin's "little tragedy" is indeed a romantic tragedy. Save for the duel there is little action, and though written in the form of a play, it is agreed by scholars that it was never meant for the stage. Aleksandr Pushkin was a Russian poet and a founder of modern Russian literature Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin (Russian: Алекса́ндр Серге́евич Пу́шкин  listen?) (June 6 (May 26, O.S.), 1799 - February 10 (January 29, O.S.), 1837), Russian author, whom many consider the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. ... Don Juan is a legendary fictional libertine, whose story has been told many times by different authors. ... Don Juan is a legendary fictional libertine, whose story has been told many times by different authors. ... Definition A farce is a comedy written for the stage, or a film, which aims to entertain the audience by means of unlikely and extravagant - yet often possible - situations, disguise and mistaken identity, verbal humour of varying degrees of sophistication, which may include puns and sexual innuendo, and a fast... Comedy is the use of humour in the performing arts. ... Tragedy is a form of drama characterized by seriousness and dignity, usually involving a conflict between a character and some higher power, such as the law, the gods, fate, or society. ... A duel or duel of honour is a form of armed combat in which two individuals participate. ...


This tragedy was later turned into an opera set directly to Pushkin's verse by Alexander Sergeyevich Dargomïzhsky. The opera, completed by César Cui after Dargomizhky's death and orchestrated by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, premiered in 1872. Pushkin himself was inspired to write the drama after seeing a production of Mozart's Don Giovanni. César Antonovitch Cui (Russian: Цезарь Антонович Кюи) (January 6/18, 1835 – March 13, 1918) was a Russian composer and music critic of French and Lithuanian descent. ... Nikolay Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov (Russian: ), also Nikolai, Nicolai, and Rimsky-Korsakoff, (March 18, 1844 – June 21, 1908) was a Russian composer and teacher of classical music particularly noted for his fine orchestration, which may have been influenced by his synaesthesia. ... Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (January 27, 1756 – December 5, 1791) was one of the most significant and influential of all composers of Western classical music. ... Don Giovanni is an opera in two acts with music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte. ...


The Stone Guest is notable as an opera for having its text taken directly from the written work which inspired it, and not a libretto derived from it; this was taken as a radical statement about the deamnds of written and musical drama and was in fact considered a devaluation of the idea of musical form as distinct from spoken drama. Tchaikovsky in particular was critical of the idea; in response to Dargomizhky's statement that "I want sound directly to express the word; I want truth" he wrote in his private correspondence that nothing could be so "hateful and false" as the attempt to present as musical drama something that was not. Relatedly, there is very little musical repetition throughout the work; like the verse itself the music was primarily through-composed. A libretto is the body of words used in an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, oratorio, or musical. ... Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (Russian Пётр Ильи́ч Чайко́вский, sometimes transliterated as Piotr, Anglicised as Peter Ilich), (May 7, 1840 – November 6, 1893 (N.S.); April 25, 1840 – October 25, 1893 (O.S.)) was a Russian composer of the Romantic era. ... Through-composed music is music which is relatively continous, non-sectional, and/or non-repetitive. ...


The opera was novel for its time in its use of dissonance and whole-tone scales, and the oft-mentioned "studied ugliness" of the music intended to reflect the actual ugliness in the story, in Dargomizhky's attempts at realism and remaining faithful to the writing. Cui termed the work a "melodic recitative" for its balance between the lyric and the naturalistic. In poetry, dissonance is the deliberate avoidance of patterns of repeated vowel sounds (see assonance). ... In music, a whole tone scale is a scale in which each note is separated from its neighbors by the interval of a whole step. ... Recitative, a form of composition often used in operas, oratorios, cantatas and similar works, is described as a melodic speech set to music, or a descriptive narrative song in which the music follows the words. ...


References

  • Richard Taruskin: "The Stone Guest". Grove Music Online (OperaBase). Accessed 26 Jun 05 (subscription access).
  • Olga's Gallery
  • Pushkin: Little Tragedies

  Results from FactBites:
 
deseretnews.com | BYU presents '3 Ring Opera' (392 words)
On the agenda is "The Stoned Guest" by P.D.Q. Bach directed by Eric Hanson; "Signor Deluso" by Thomas Pasatieri directed by Clayne Robison; and "The Old Maid and the Thief" by Giancarlo Menotti directed by Juan Pereira.
In the case of "The Stoned Guest," the musical score is filled with moments of musical kitch or recognizable musical tunes and motives from other famous classical works that have been borrowed and convoluted for comedic effect.
The circus theme extends into costuming and makeup, especially in "The Stoned Guest," with most of the characters wearing bright, somewhat garish clothing and making up their faces using a bit of a "clown" effect.
The Stoned Guest - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (99 words)
Bach's Half-Act Opera: The Stoned Guest," is actually the work of Peter Schickele.
The title is a play on the subtitle of Don Giovanni by Mozart, "The Stone Guest", as well as the opera The Stone Guest by Alexander Sergeyevich Dargomïzhsky.
The work is a parody of classical opera, although some critics consider it to be the equal of many classical works in technical ability.
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