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Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin / Jansons, Skovhus, Stoyanova, Dunaev, Petrenko [DVD]

Album Summary

>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Eugene Onegin, Op. 24
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Described by Tchaikovsky as 'lyric scenes', Eugene Onegin receives a spectacular reinterpretation from the Norwegian director Stefan Herheim. His productions create controversy and excitement around Europe, and here he takes Pushkin's story of illusion, disaffection and frustrated love, and places the protagonists - world-weary Onegin and naïve, passionate Tatyana - in a triple temporal perspective, referencing the theatrical present, the period of the work's composition, and the pageant of Russia's history. Mariss Jansons, renowned for his mastery of Tchaikovsky's symphonies, conducts this performance from Amsterdam's Muziektheater.

BBC Music Magazine
Forget any sense of intimacy in Tchaikovsky's lyrical scenes in this Eugene Onegin; director Stefan Herheim's approach is one of kaleidoscopic excess...No doubt about it, though, this is musically world-class. Mariss Janson's conducting, very imposing in the big moments...accords with the broad brushstrokes of Herheim's production. But the singers are vocally near ideal. Krassimira Stoyanova's Tatyana is thrillingly secure as well as vulnerable.

Gramophone Magazine
Characters not only invade each other's memories but appear in fantasy form...Still, this isn't a Regie-Theater free for all...Herheim directs so many keen moments of character interactions that there's no danger of the opera lapsing into simplistic cliches...what a treat to hear an appealing, soft-grained version of [Skovhus's] voice in the title-role...what linguistic authority and depth of soul [Stoyanova] brings to the character!

Notes & Reviews:

Run Time: 181 min.
Region: All
Picture Format: NTSC, 16:9, Color
Sound Format(s): LPCM Stereo, DTS 5.0 Surround
Subtitles: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch


Tchaikovsky Eugene Onegin Jansons DVD
The story of Tchaikovsky's most popular opera, "Eugene Onegin," illustrates a popular contemporary idiom: timing is everything. Tatiana, the heroine, who is presumably in her late teens or early 20s, falls in love with an older man, the vain and egocentric Eugene Onegin, to whom she writes a passionate letter. He rejects her. Several years later, Onegin meets Tatiana again; she is now a grown woman with poise, grace, and charm. Bowled over, he declares his love for her; this time, she rejects him - she already has a rich and noble husband, whereas a relationship with him would bring only shame. When Onegin's pleas become more ardent, Tatiana rushes out and leaves him.
This new video version by Opus Arte of "Eugene Onegin" was filmed in 2011 at the Netherlands Opera. It has many good things in its favor. The cast is excellent, the music is sensitively conducted by Mariss Jansons and beautifully played by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the costumes are lavish, and the sets are splendid.
However, what spoils this production for me is that the director introduces strange time-line effects. This is especially disturbing in Tatiana's letter scene, during which, as a young woman, she declares her love to Onegin. First we see Onegin in a second bed in her bedroom; then we see him sitting at Tatiana's writing desk, as if he were a scribe and Tatiana were dictating her thoughts to him. To me, this is simply bizarre, and it is surely not what Tchaikovsky intended.
Furthermore, there is stiff competition from two other DVD versions - those conducted by Yuri Temirkanov and Valery Gergiev; the latter, starring Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Renee Fleming, deservedly received rave reviews despite its stark decor, and would be my first choice.
Ted Wilks
Submitted on 05/06/12 by Ted Wilks 
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Works Details

>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Eugene Onegin, Op. 24
  • Performers: Andrey Dunaev (Tenor); Elena Maximova (Contralto); Mikhail Petrenko (Bass); Nina Romanova (Mezzo Soprano); Olga Savova (Mezzo Soprano); Bo Skovhus (Baritone); Krassimira Stoyanova (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Mariss Jansons
  • Ensemble: Netherlands Opera Chorus
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1877-1878