Posts tagged Sasha Chorny
Found tonight on Porridge Legs, the blog of artist Mick Peter:
‘Sasha Chorny’ (‘Sasha the Black’ / Са́ша Чёрный) was the deliberately suggestive pseudonym of the early 20th century poet Aleksandr Glikberg (Александр Михайлович Гликберг). His mordant and biting poems, mercilessly satirizing literary and emotional pretension appealed to Shostakovich, who loved laughter and caricature. The composer chose five of Chorny’s verses to make a short cycle for his friend, the distinguished soprano Galina Vishnevskaya. She herself suggested a subtitle to the cycle, ‘Pictures of the Past’, which the composer approved as it ironically underlined that, of course, these songs were all about the present. The set begins with the mocking address ‘To a critic’, and continues with ‘Spring awakening’ in which Chorny pokes fun at writers who wax sentimental about the coming of spring and Shostakovich has boyish musical fun at the expense of Rachmaninov’s famous romance ‘Spring Waters’. Two cynical little numbers about human motivation are finally rounded out with a poem referring to Tolstoy’s famous murder-story ‘The Kreutzer Sonata’. The reference to Beethoven gives Shostakovich the chance for some more musical jokes.
I don’t see anything in English, though he surely shows up in anthologies, and there’s a nice wikipedia page for him.