Glenn Beck channels Andrei Zhdanov

Glenn Beck’s daughter is a singer, and occasionally she drags her dad to the opera. Last time it was Wagner, and that made sense to him, though he found it terribly long.  This time it was Shostakovich’s Nos (The Nose), which he found he found to be utter crap. He had no comment on the music at all… I don’t think he even remembered the composer until they pulled up another review. So we missed out on “muddle instead of music”. But he characterized the plot as two hours of a guy singing “somebody help me find my nose” and insisted that only pretentious poseurs would claim any interest in it (and would even if they were waterboarded).

I don’t know the work (I’m a Lady Macbeth man). I just read the Grove synopsis by Laurel Fay, and am surprised that Beck didn’t get that the opera was about the sort of people he complains about on every program. OK, 20s Dada-influenced opera is not to everyone’s taste. But I felt sorry for the ghost of Shosty, abused by Marxists for so long, now being abused by an ignorant (of opera anyway) right-wing entertainer.

Here’s the libretto, if you wish to fancy yourself smarter than Beck.

4 Responses to Glenn Beck channels Andrei Zhdanov

  1. kishnevi says:

    Surprised me–I would think that Nose would appeal to you more than Lady Macbeth, at least on the level of the dramatic action. Of the music of either one, I have to confess that I have yet to hear a single note, so maybe Lady M. is more your style that way.
    {Coincidentally, I just got a recording of Lady M. today, the one conducted by Rostropovich, so that will be remedied by one half in the next couple of days.)

  2. Jeffrey Quick says:

    Well, like I said, I really don’t know the Nose, but dramatically LMM appeals more, and it’s roughly contemporaneous with the 4th symphony. The really amazing and subversive thing about LMM is that the heroine really has no redeeming qualities at all… she’s shallow, stupid, falls in love with her rapist, is a murderer… yet the music calls up sympathy for her.

  3. kishnevi says:

    The libretto calls up sympathy too: trapped in a marriage to a brutal husband who is not sexually attracted to her, ruled by an even more brutal father in law, already attracted to Sergei before the rape, and at the end totally destroyed when she realizes Sergey doesn’t really love her.

  4. [...] stay alive in an article for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and Cleveland area composer Jeffrey Quick spotted Glenn Beck channeling Andrei Zhdanov after Beck went to see a performance of Shostakovich’s [...]

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