Life Chronicles

Working in the Meyerhold's Theater.
The end of work on the Opera "The Nose" op. 15.
Beginning of work on vocal and symphonic cycle "Six Romances on Japanese Poems" op. 21.

Work in Meyerhold’s Theatre.
Completion of work on the opera “The Nose” (op. 15) based on Gogol’s novella.
First publications in the press.
Performance of Symphony No.1 in the USA.
Start of work on the vocal and symphonic cycle “Six Romances on Japanese Poems” (op. 21).

“I am living in a world of geniuses...”

May 10, 1928

“Life is miserable. I have completed the second act of ‘The Nose’ on May 1st. Today I received a typed postcard, informing me in a polite way that my request for permission to go abroad has been rejected. The word ‘rejected’ is underlined in the same way as I have underlined it here in ink. <...> I am grateful to you that you have been trying to help me but I beg you not to go on. In general I don’t like asking for favours. I had been dreaming so much about Paris and Italy and got carried away... Now I’ve been deprived of it all. Indeed, I have been deprived of many things. Yet there are people who have been far more deprived than I. I shall not complain. I am throwing my cap into the air and shouting: Long live...!”

D.D. Shostakovich to V.E. Meyerhold
1928, January, 4. Leningrad

“Dear Vsevolod Emilevich.
I would be terribly interested to work for you in the theater. And the work will be, judging by Your words and not a little for 2 months, permanent. I support my and my family's existence with all sorts of concerts that require thorough work. I, serve You have, likely, will lose their concerts. This circumstance will be unprofitable to me since the question of earnings so far the main question of my existence. You are not angry please for written above about salary. All that I have written is not out of greed, but because of practicality”.

January 7, 1928
S. Shostakovich:

“Today we sent Mitya off on a fast train to Moscow. This time it is for about two months, because he has work there in the Meyerhold Theatre. As always my heart is heavy as I take my leave of him. His weak health always demands constant loving supervision and I am always worried when he is not at home... Recently he has been very irritable and sometimes intolerant...”

Jaunary 10, 1928

“I have been going to lots of plays. Apart from all Meyerhold’s productions I have seen “The Armoured Train” and “The Last Days of the Turbins” at the Moscow Arts Theatre, “The Break-up” at the Vakhtangov Studio, “Day and Night” at the Kamerny Theatre and many other plays. What struck me at the Moscow Arts Theatre was the amazing troupe of actors ... it’s hard to choose between them. <...>. What made the deepest impression of all was the production of “The Government Inspector” at Meyerhold’s Theatre. I have seen it three times recently and altogether seven times. The more I see it, the more I like it.”

January 21, 1928

“Yesterday I spoke to Mamma on the telephone. The line was wonderful.
What a superb invention!”