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A. Naumov

‘Heavy and Overwhelming Luxury’. The Play ‘Moliere’ of the Moscow Аrt Theatre in Life and Work of R. Glière

The main subject of the article is R. Glière’s music for the Moscow Art theatre performance of M. Bulgakov`s play ‘Moliere ou le Cabale des dévots’. It was staged in 1936 and devastatingly criticized by the politically-biased media. After this event the composer left both MAT and the genre of theatre music for a long time, actually forever. In such a context the problem of the composer and the theatre had mostly an ethical aspect and there were several analogical situations in the history of Russian theatre in 1930–1950th. ‘Moliere’ used to be one of the most troublesome theatricals for MAT and the work on it lasted nearly five years. There was a great ideological disagreement, strongly reflected in music, between Stanislavsky as a Chief director and the author of the play. Traces of reworks, replacements and reductions are quite obvious now when comparing different versions of score manuscript in Glière’s archive and the Music Department library of the MAT. Nevertheless, the main features of the musical conception stayed unchanged and were even concentrated. The composer strived to emphasize central semantic lines of the play and created several contrast groups of musical numbers, such as the music of Theatre, of the King, of Love etc. He beautifully decorated all the fragments in orches tral scores, but it is quite impossible to perform the music at modern drama theatres as perfectly as the large orchestra of MAT did it in the 1930th.

Key words

the Moscow Art Theatre, Stanislavsky, Bulgakov, Glière, «Moliere ou le Cabale des dévots», theatre music.