The Big Lightning
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. 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, because of his lack of confidence in the libretto. Shostakovich only managed to write the overture and 8 following pieces, which lasts about 17 minutes. The original title may have been Nail in the Powder. The opera contains parodies of Glière's Red Poppy, and Beethoven's Rage Over a Lost Penny.
The work was commissioned by the Maly Theatre, and the libretto was written Nikolai Aseev, and was about a team of Soviet specialists on a visit to America. It premiered 11 February 1981, Leningrad, Large Philharmonic Hall, conducted by Gennadi Rozhdestvensky. The first recording was by the Russian State Symphony Orchestra under Valery Polyansky.
- Schostakowitsch Werkverzeichnis, sikorski.de. p. 65. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
- Kirkman, Andrew; Ivashkin, Alexander (28 January 2013). Contemplating Shostakovich: Life, Music and Film. Ashgate Publishing. p. 6. Retrieved 12 January 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- Fairclough, Pauline; Fanning, David (30 October 2008). The Cambridge Companion to Shostakovich. Cambridge Companions to Music. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 195. Retrieved 12 January 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- Fairclough, Pauline (11 November 2010). Shostakovich Studies 2. Cambridge University Press. p. 30. Retrieved 12 January 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>