Critic’s Choice

Wed Mar 07, 2018 at 5:43 pm

Anton Chekhov

This weekend the Emerson Quartet attempts to finish a work that was never begun–an opera dreamed of but uncompleted by Shostakovich on the Chekhov short story The Black Monk.

The composer did not get far on the project, about a brilliant scholar who hallucinates visits from a mysterious monk. Emerson violinist Philip Setzer and theater director James Glossman have created a version of the work, part chamber music and part theater.

The Emerson Quartet performs the music for this performance, including sections of Shostakovich’s Fourteenth and Fifteenth String Quartets, which likely incorporate music sketched for the unrealized opera. Actors David Strathairn and Sean Astin play the roles of Shostakovich and Stalin, respectively, in this event 7:30 p.m. Sunday in the Barns at Wolf Trap.

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