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The Soviet censors' condemnation of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk just a few years after its wildly popular premiere effectively crushed Shostakovich's operatic career, a genuine musical tragedy, because Lady Macbeth and its predecessor, The Nose, reveal Shostakovich to have all the instincts of a born opera composer. Shostakovich made a revised version, Katerina Ismailova, in 1962, that toned down the opera's sexual and political content, but this 1979 recording by two of the composer's fiercest allies, conductor Mstislav ...

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