Voices of Russian Opera / Christoff, Popp, Chaliapin, Gedda, Villazon, Lemali, Zareska, Smirnov et al. [5 CD]

Notes & Reviews:

While Russian opera is often noted for its strong foreign influences; this five CD set of Russian operatic works delves into the nationalistic and historically grounded elements of the tradition that make it uniquely Russian. Featuring many composers whose names are synonymous with Russian opera, including Glinka, Borodin, Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, and Prokofiev, this collection showcases the breadth and variety of Russian opera at its best.

This compilation features recordings by both Russian and non-Russian vocalists, from the sonorously dark and instantly memorable bass voices of Russians Feodor Chaliapin and Boris Christoff, to the bright and sprightly sopranos of American Teresa Stich-Randall and Slovak Lucia Popp.


Works:

Disc 1

01 Cavatine et rondo d’Antonida: La Vie pour le Tsar - Acte I - Igor Markevitch - Orch De L’Association Des Conc

02 Brother, in the darkness: La Vie pour le Tsar - Acte VI - Belgrade Opera Chorus - Nicolai Gedda - Igor Marke

03 My poor horse is dead: La Vie pour le Tsar - Acte IV - Belgrade Opera Chorus - Mela Bougarinovitch - Igor

04 They begin to guess the truth! (Susanin): A Life for the Tsar - Act IV - Boris Christoff - Igor Markevitch - Orch De L’Ass

05 Not so long ago, at home (Susanin): A Life for the Tsar - Act IV - Belgrade Opera Chorus - Boris Christoff - Igor Mar

06 Death of Susanin: A Life for the Tsar - Act IV - Belgrade Opera Chorus - Boris Christoff - Igor Mar

07 Act 2: Already the hour of my triumph (Farlaf’s Rondo): Ruslan and Ludmilla (1987 - Remaster) - Feodor Chaliapin/London Symphony Orchestra/Max Ste

08 Act 1: You young girls are all alike (Miller’s aria): Rusalka - Feodor Chaliapin/Georgi Pozemkovsky/London Symphon

09 Act 3: Good morrow, son-in-law (Mad Scene and Death of the Miller): Rusalka - Feodor Chaliapin/Georgi Pozemkovsky/London Symphon

10 Prince Galitsky’s Aria (Act 1): I hate a dreary life: Prince Igor - Boris Christoff/Philharmonia Orchestra/Issay Dobro

11 Konchakovna’s Aria - Jerzy Semkow/Chorus & Orchestra of the Nationa

12 Vladimir’s Aria (Prince Igor, Act II) - Todor Todorov/Jerzy Semkow/Orchestra of the Nation

Disc 2

01 Prince Igor’s Aria (Prince Igor, Act II) - Constantin Chekerliski/Jerzy Semkow/Orchestra of t

02 Khan Konchak’s Aria (Prince Igor) - Boris Christoff/Jerzy Semkow/Philharmonia Orchestr

03 Jaroslavna’s Lament (Prince Igor, Act IV) - Julia Wiener/Jerzy Semkov/Orchestra of the Nationa

04 Pravolslávnyyel nye umolím boyárin! (Shchelkalov): Boris Godunov, PROLOGUE - Scene One - Jacques Mars/Orchestre de la Société des Concerts

05 Coronation Scene - Martti Talvela/Polish Radio Chorus of Krakow/Jerzy

06 Pimen’s Narrative (Boris Godunov, Act I) - Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra/Jerzy Sem

07 Kak vo górode bylo vo Kazáne (Varlaam): Boris Godunov, Scene Two - Aage Haugland/Krakow Philharmonic Chorus/Polish Na

08 Song of the Gnat: Boris Godunov - Act II - Issay Dobrowen - Orch National Radiodiffusion F -

09 Ekh, máma mámushka (Fyodor/Nurse): Boris Godunov, ACT 2 - Ana Alexieva/Mela Bougarinovitch/Orchestre de la S

10 Dostig ya vyshey vlásti (Boris): Boris Godunov, ACT TWO - Martti Talvela/Krakow Philharmonic Chorus/Polish N

11 Pópinka nash sidyél s mamkámi v svetlítse (Fydor/Boris): Boris Godunov, ACT TWO - Martti Talvela/Wiera Baniewicz/Krakow Philharmonic

12 In the Cathedral of Ulglich - Bohdan Paprocki/Polish National Radio Symphony Orc

13 Act 2: Ah! I am suffocating (Clock Scene): Boris Godunov - Feodor Chaliapin/London Symphony Orchestra/Max Ste

14 Marina’s Aria (Boris Godunov, Act III) - Evelyn Lear/Orchestre de la Société des Concerts d

15 Marina Rangoni Duet: Boris Godunov - Act III - Kim Borg - Issay Dobrowen - Orch National Radiodi

16 V pólnoch ... v sadú ... u fontána (Dimitri): Boris Godunov, Scene Two - Dimitr Ouzounov/Orchestre de la Société des Concer

17 Iezuít lukávy krépko zhal menyá: Boris Godunov, Act II - Scene Two - Nicolai Gedda/Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra/Gika

18 Shuisky’s Evidence: Boris Godunov - Act IV - André Bielecki - Choeurs Russes de Paris - Boris

Disc 3

01 Sanovítyye boyáre! (Shchelkalov): Boris Godunov, Scene Two - Andrzej Hiolski/Krakow Philharmonic Chorus/Polish

02 Sláva tsaryévichu, Bógom spasyónnomu (Varlaam/Missail/Vagabonds/Dimitry/Krushchov/Lavitsky/Chernikovsky): Boris Godunov - Boris Christoff/Jacques Mars/Dimitr Ouzounov/Vasil

03 Lyéytes, lyéytes slyózy górkiye (Simpleton): Boris Godunov, Scene Three! - Paulos Raptis/Krakow Philharmonic Chorus/Polish Na

04 Proshcháy, moy syn, umiráyu! (Boris): Boris Godunov, Scene Two - Boris Christoff/Orchestre de la Société des Concer

05 Zvon! Pogrebál’ny zvon! (Boris/People/Fyodor/Church choir/Boyars): Boris Godunov, Scene Two - Boris Christoff/Ana Alexieva/Milen Paounov/Chorus

06 The Feild-Marshal (Vivo - alla guerra): Songs and Dances of Death (orch. Shostakovich) - Galina Vishnevskaya/London Philharmonic Orchestra/

07 Zachem ty, serdtse, rysayesh i stonesh? (Gritzko, Act 1) (Der jahrmarkt von Sorotschinski: Mein Herz, mein armes Herz) - Nicolai Gedda/Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra/Gika

08 Dositheus’ Aria: ‘Here on this spot’ (Act 5): Khovanshchina - Boris Christoff/Philharmonia Orchestra/Issay Dobro

09 Pooskai pogibnoo ya (Tatiana’s letter scene) (Act 1): Eugene Onegin - Lucia Popp/Münchner Rundfunkorchester/Stefan Solte

10 Kuda....Kuda....: Eugene Onegin - Rolando Villazon/Münchner Rundfunkorchester/Michel

11 Prince Gremin’s Aria - “Lyubvi fse vozrastï pokornï” (Prince Gremin): Eugene Onegin, Act III - Jonathan Lemalu/New Zealand Symphony Orchestra/Jam

12 Prosti, prelestnoe sozdanye (Hermann, Act 1) (Pique Dame: Verzeihe mir, du himmlisch Wesen) (1996 Digital Remaster): Pi - Nicolai Gedda/Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra/Gika

13 Uzh polnoch blizitsya (It is close on midnight already) (Act 3): Pikovaya Dama (The Queen of Spades) - Lucia Popp/Münchner Rundfunkorchester/Stefan Solte

14 Chto nasha zhizn? Igra! (Hermann, Act 3) (Pique Dame: Das Leben gleicht dem Spiel) (1996 Digital Remaster): Pikovaya da - Nicolai Gedda/Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra/Gika

15 Lehl’s First Song: The Snow Maiden - Incidental Music Op. 12 (1995 Digital Remaster) - Galina Vishnevskaya/London Philharmonic Orchestra/

Disc 4

01 Solnyshko nizko (Levko, Act 1) (Mainacht: Sonne schon sinket) (1996 Digital Remaster): Maiskaya Noch - Nicolai Gedda/Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra/Gika

02 Oj ty, t’omnaja dubravushka! (Sadko, Tableau II) (Sadko: Ach, du dunkler, schattenreicher Wald) (1996 Digital Remaster) - Nicolai Gedda/Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra/Gika

03 Lullaby of the Sea Princess: Sleep went along the river (Berceuse): Sadko (1995 Digital Remaster) - Galina Vishnevskaya/London Philharmonic Orchestra/

04 : Variation 9: Variations on a Theme by Paganini Op. 35, Book Two - Egon Petri

05 Tsar Berendey’s Cavatina (The Snow Maiden, Act II) - Dimitri Smirnov

06 Marfa’s Scene & Aria: In Novgorod: The Tsar’s Bride - Galina Vishnevskaya/London Philharmonic Orchestra/

07 Prince Yuri’s Aria: ‘O vain illusion of glory and grandeur’ (Act 3): The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh - Boris Christoff/Philharmonia Orchestra/Wilhelm Sch

08 Durch die Ebenen - Romanze des jungen Zigeuners aus “Aleko” [Young Gypsy’s Romance] (2013 - Remaster) - Nicolai Gedda

09 Act 2: The moon is high in the sky (Aleko’s cavatina): Aleko - Feodor Chaliapin/Orchestra/Lawrance Collingwood

10 Kakoye prove oni imyeyet (What right have they?) (Scene 3): Voina y Mir (War and Peace) - Lucia Popp/Stefan Soltesz

11 No.19. Song about the Beaver (Andante assai): Ivan the Terrible Op. 116 - Irina Arkhipova/Anatoly Mokrenko/Boris Morgunov/Am

12 No.23: Feodor Basmanov’s Song (Allegro moderato): Ivan the Terrible Op. 116 - Irina Arkhipova/Anatoly Mokrenko/Boris Morgunov/Am

13 Oh, I don’t feel like sleep (Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Act I) - London Philharmonic Orchestra/Mstislav Rostropovic

14 That’s what old age means (Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Act II) - Dimiter Petkov/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Mstis

15 Once a lady friend of mine (Lady Macbeth Mtsensk, Act III) - Robert Tear/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Mstislav

16 The police were formed (Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Act III) - Aage Haugland/Martyn Hill/Oliver Broome/London Phi

17 V lesú, v sámoy cháshche yest’ ózero (Katerina): Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Act IV, Scene 9 - Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestr

18 Znáesh li, Sonyétka (Sergey, Sonyetka): Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Act IV, Scene 9 - Mstislav Rostropovich/London Philharmonic Orchestr

19 We trudge along day after day (Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Act IV) - Alexander Malta/Ambrosian Opera Chorus/London Phil

Disc 5

01 I look over the bare fields (A Life for the Tsar, Act 1) - Marie Michailova

02 Ah, not to me, poor wretch (A Life for the Tsar, Act IV) - Eugenia Zbrujeva/Orchestra

03 They guess the truth (A Life for the Tsar) - Vladimir Kastorsky

04 Ruslan and Ludmilla (Act III) O my Ratmir! - Marianne Tcherkasskaya

05 I shall don my robe of byssus (Judith) - Natalia Yuzhina

06 On desire’s soft, fleeting wing (The Demon) - Andrei Labinsky

07 In the quiet of the night (The Demon) - Nina Koshetz

08 Accursed world (The Demon) - Joachim Tartakov

09 Epithalamium (Nero) - Nicolai Shevelev

10 The sun was shining brightly (Prisoner of the Caucasus) - Ivan Grizounov

11 O give me oblivion (Doubrovsky) - Dimitri Smirnov/Orchestra

12 I swear before God and thee (The Opritchnik) - Nicolai Figner

13 In your house (Eugene Onegin, Act II) - Dimitri Smirnov

14 Lenski’s Aria (Eugene Onegin, Act II) - Leonid Sobinov

15 Farewell to the forests (The Maid of Orleans, Act I) - Vera Petrova-Zvanceva

16 It is midnight (The Queen of Spades, Act III) - Medea Mei-Figner

17 Why have I not known this before? (Iolanthe, Act I) - Lydia Lipkowska

18 My Lord, if I offend (Iolanthe) - Lev Sibiriakov/Orchestra

19 Gathering berries (The Snow Maiden, Prologue) - Antonina Nezhdanova

20 How painful it feels (The Snow Maiden, Act I) - Lydia Lipkovska

21 Tsar Berendey’s Cavatina (The Snow Maiden, Act III) - Leonid Sobinov

22 Hymn to the Sun (The Golden Cockerel, Act 2) - Antonina Nezhdanova/Orchestra

23 Flowers were blooming (Dobrynia Nikitich) - Leonid Sobinov/Orchestra

MusicWeb International, 22nd January 2014
This is a rewarding and fascinating collection despite the dictates that have restricted its sources. It also serves to open doors and reveal rarely heard voices and in some cases neglected music.



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