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Rimsky-Korsakov: The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh / Vedernikov, Kazakov, Panfilov, etc [2 DVD]

Album Summary

>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevroniya
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

The Invisible City of Kitezh, completed in 1905, is a remarkable opera that fuses folklore, mysticism and realism. Its subject is the story of the advancing Mongol army's entry to Great Kitezh and the city's subsequent miraculous survival. Rejecting archaisms and the more religiously inclined suggestions of his librettist, Rimsky-Korsakov sought to create an opera that "is contemporary and even fairly advanced". It is therefore through composed, hinting at times at Wagnerian procedure, and flooded with the composer's rich, apt and brilliant orchestral palette, fully supportive of the powerful vocal writing.

Kitezh stands as an excellent summation of Rimsky-Korsakov's approach to the stage and to orchestration as well... music is, with strong vocal writing and beautifully supportive orchestration in a through-composed work that uses Wagnerian techniques without sounding one bit like Wagner... this Naxos DVD is particularly welcome for making its brilliant musical colors and oddly fascinating thematic mixture of legend and religion available to a wider audience.

The Flip Side
Rimsky-Korsakov's glorious music is well-played by the orchestra under conductor Alexander Vedernikov and the vocalists, led by soprano Tatiana Monogarova and bass Mikhail Kazakov, are luminous...

BBC Music Magazine
These are murderously difficult roles, but Tatiana Monogarova is just about the best Fevronia I've seen, vocally clear and sturdy, if a little unvarying, physically beautiful and a credibly passionate actress. Mikhail Gubsky's Grishka makes a strong impact...[Vedernikov] conjures the score's symphonic richness out of a fairly ordinary theatre orchestra.

International Record Review
Monogarova, with her warm, firm middle register, is vocally well suited to her role (physically too)...she gives a tireless performance, in which her voice retains its rich tone throughout...[Gulordava] catches the ear with a well-carried tone and a touch fear...Much of Nekrosius's direction is representational, even abstract, rather than natural but it does not diverge from the story.

The Guardian
Tatiana Monogarova is very fine in the role of Fevronya - it's hard to think of who might sing it better these days - and the tenor Vitaly Panfilov makes a decent Vsevolod...For anyone who doesn't know this remarkable work, it's a must-buy at a bargain price.

WQXR (New York)
Naxos is on a Russian roll this month with a double-hitter from this member of The Five. Bass Mikhail Kazakov, who made an impressive star turn in Dallas earlier this year in the title role of Boris Godunov, headlines the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari's The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh, a dreamy work widely thought to be the Russian Parsifal. Also out this month on Naxos are orchestral suites from several of Rimsky-Korsakov's other operas, including The Snow Maiden, Sadko and Le Coq d'or. Gerard Schwarz and the Seattle Symphony are in incredibly fine form with this repertoire, which you can also hear on recordings of Scheherazade and Capriccio espagnol, also released on Naxos this past May and September, respectively.

Notes & Reviews:

Run Time: 187 min.
Region: All
Picture Format: NTSC, 16:9, Color
Sound Format(s): LPCM Stereo, Dolby 5.0, DTS 5.0
Subtitles: English


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Works Details

>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevroniya
  • Performers: Mikhail Gubsky (Tenor); Marika Gulordava (Mezzo Soprano); Gevorg Hakobyan (Baritone); Mikhail Kazakov (Bass); Tatiana Monogarova (Soprano); Vitaly Panfilov (Tenor)
  • Conductor: Alexander Vedernikov
  • Ensemble: Cagliari Theater Chorus
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1907