Shostakovich:Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk/Mstislav Rostropovich

Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District-Act Two Scene Five

by Dmitri Shostakovich

on Shostakovich:Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk/Mstislav Rostropovich (2002)

Katerina's bedroom. Katerina and Sergey are lying in bed. Sergey is asleep.

KATERINA
Sergey, Seryozha!
He's still asleep.

SERGEY
waking up
What?

KATERINA
Wake up!

SERGEY
What do you want?

KATERINA
Wake up!

SERGEY
Well?

KATERINA
Kiss me!
Sergey kisses her.
Not like that, not like that;
kiss me so it hurts my lips
and the blood rushes to my head
and the icons fall from their shelves.
Sergey kisses her.
Oh! Seryozha!

SERGEY
Katya, our love is nearing its end.

KATERINA
Why?

SERGEY
Zinoviy Borisych will be coming back,
your lawful husband,
how do you think I'm going to feel,
seeing you go to bed
with your lawful husband?

KATERINA
That won't happen.

SERGEY
Katerina Lvovna, Katenka,
I'm not like other men,
who don't care about anything,
so long as they've got a woman's soft body
to caress.
I'm a sensitive person, you know,
I can feel what love is.
Oh why did I fall in love with you
and burn with passion just for you?
Can it really be an honour for you,
an eminent merchant's wife,
to be my mistress?
Oh Katya, what I'd give to become
your husband in God's eyes!
As it is,
we can meet only at night
and in daylight we're afraid
to show our faces to the world.

KATERINA
Don't upset yourself, Sergey,
I'll make you a merchant
and we'll live together properly.

SERGEY
How will you manage that?

KATERINA
That's not your worry.
It's your business to kiss me hard,
like this.

Sergey kisses her, then falls asleep.

KATERINA
He's asleep again.
Oh Sergey, can you really sleep,
when your lover's lips are so close?
Oh, Sergey, I'll not fear anyone,
I'll make you my husband,
I'll not be afraid of anyone.
Boris Timofeyich tried to interfere
and he's gone: dead, buried and forgotten,
only I remember him at nights.
His fearful face often appears before me.
The ghost of Boris appears.
There he is in the corner!

GHOST OF BORIS
Katerina Lvovna, you murderess!
I've come to find out
how you and Sergey are keeping
my son's bed warm.

KATERINA
You can't frighten me; look at me
sleeping with Sergey.

GHOST OF BORIS
My eyes cannot see,
look, in my eyes
is but emptiness and fire.
Katerina, Katerina,
a curse on you forever!

KATERINA
Oh, Sergey, wake up!

Sergey wakes up.

SERGEY
Well? What do you want?

KATERINA
Sergey, Seryozha, look and see,
the fearful ghost of Boris Timofeyich standing there.

Sergey cannot see the ghost.

SERGEY
Nonsense, there's no one there,
calm down, Katya.

KATERINA
I'm scared, Seryozha, kiss me, kiss me,
kiss me; darling, dearest one,
press me closer to your heart!
The ghost disappears, Katerina and Sergey fall asleep. Later Katerina wakes up and rouses Sergey.
in a whisper
Listen, Sergey, Sergey!

SERGEY
Well?

KATERINA
Can you hear it?

SERGEY
What?

KATERINA
Someone's walking softly, softly.

SERGEY
It's your imagination again.

KATERINA
No, no.
The dogs didn't bark,
so it's someone they know;
can you hear? Someone's coming.

SERGEY
Yes, I can.

KATERINA
Hide somewhere,
it's Zinoviy Borisych, my husband.

Sergey whistles.

SERGEY
Now we're really in the soup!

KATERINA
Hide quick, hide!
Sergey hides.
He's listening at the door, the swine,
just you wait!

ZINOVIY
outside the door
Katerina!

KATERINA
Who's there?

ZINOVIY
Open the door!

KATERINA
I can't make it out...
Who's there?

ZINOVIY
It's me...

KATERINA
Who?

ZINOVIY
Me, can't you hear?

KATERINA
I can't make it out.

ZINOVIY
Look, it's me, Zinoviy Borisovich.
Katerina opens the door. Enter Zinoviy
And how are you getting on?

KATERINA
I haven't been going to any theatres,
nor to any balls either.

ZINOVIY
noticing Sergey's trousers
So you've been at home all the time?

KATERINA
Yes, l have.

ZINOVIY
I see! Well, that's fine then,
but how did my dad die?

KATERINA
Well, he just died; we gave him a good funeral.

ZINOVIY
And why is the bed made up for two?

KATERINA
I was expecting you any time.

ZINOVIY
Thanks for that anyway.
noticing Sergey's belt
And what might that thing be?

KATERINA
Where?

ZINOVIY
Here!
From what I can make out,
it's a man's belt.

KATERINA
I found it in the garden
and fastened my skirt with it.

ZINOVIY
We've been hearing some things
about your skirts,
about your skirts.

KATERINA
What have you heard then?

ZINOVIY
We've heard a lot about your affairs …

KATERINA
What have you heard?

ZINOVIY
We've heard everything.

KATERINA
What have you heard?

ZINOVIY
We've heard it all, we've heard it all,
we've heard it all, just everything!

KATERINA
I don't like people talking to me
in that insolent way.
Kindly explain
what "affairs" you're talking about.
You know absolutely nothing about it,
I'm the one who knows it all.
I won't allow you or anyone else
to talk to me about my "affairs".
It's not for you to judge me.
Hands off, you disgusting, pathetic creature;
I can't even call you a husband,
you're as lifeless as a lump of wood,
a feeble weakling and as cold as a fish.
You disgust me.
Ugh, you pathetic tradesman!

ZINOVIY
Look here, Katerina,
that's very fine language coming from you,
just like you'd read in books!
What's it all about?
Where have you got such insolent manners from?
There must be some truth in the rumour
that you've been unfaithful to me.
Just you wait, Katerina,
I'll get to the bottom of it, never fear,
just you wait, Katerina,
I'll get to the bottom of it and then I'll give you
sheer hell,
absolute, sheer hell.
I'll beat the living daylights out of you.
I am your husband before God and the Tsar.
I am responsible for the family's honour.
I demand the truth!

KATERINA
What good'll that do you?

ZINOVIY
I demand the truth!

KATERINA
I don't even want to talk to you,
after all you're nothing more than a pathetic tradesman,
you'd never understand anything!

Zinoviy beats Katerina with the belt.

ZINOVIY
Take that, and that, and another!

KATERINA
Oh! oh!
Sergey, Sergey,
he's beating me!
Come out and protect me!

ZINOVIY
Who's this Sergey?
Who is it? Where is he?
Who's this Sergey?

Enter Sergey. Katerina rushes to him and kisses him.

KATERINA
Sergey, my dearest love!

ZINOVIY
Murder! Come here, everybody!

He runs to the window.

KATERINA
You won't get away!

Katerina catches up with Zinoviy, pushes him on the floor and begins to strangle him. Sergey runs up and holds Zinoviy on the floor.

Zinoviy struggles.

ZINOVIY
I ... knew it ... all...

KATERINA
Hold him tighter, Sergey!

ZINOVIY
You swine! Help!
Oh, they're strangling me!
weakly
Get a priest...

SERGEY
I'll give you priest all right!
Sergey hits Zinoviy over the head with a heavy candlestick.

KATERINA
He's choking...

Zinoviy dies.

SERGEY
Well, that's the end of that...

KATERINA
Take him to the cellar.
I'll light the way.

Sergey lifts Zinoviy's body on to his shoulders and carries it into the cellar. Katerina lights the way with a candle. When they come to the cellar, Sergey rolls away some stones and puts Zinoviy's body in the hole.

SERGEY
Let's have some light, Katya.

KATERINA
Hurry up, oh do hurry up!

Sergey replaces the stones.

SERGEY
Just finishing.
That's all ... it's done...

KATERINA
Kiss me, kiss me, kiss me.

They kiss.

SERGEY
Katya...

KATERINA
Now you are my husband.

Katerina and Sergey stand locked in an embrace.

Song Comments (1)
On Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District-Act Two Scene Five by Dmitri Shostakovich

By Anonymous

Posted

Love won’t you listen to my heart.. darling can you hear it beating hard... I gave you my love and you threw it away.. it’s a song that comes on “The end of the f**king world” season 2 and it’s been on my mind ever since. Looked everywhere, but it does not appear, not even on Shazam):
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