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Russian Operas Russes / Joseph Rouleau, bass baritone

Audio Samples

>Borodin, Alexander : Prince Igor
>     L'air du Prince Galitski (Prince Galitsky's Aria)
>     L'Air de Kontchak (Konchak's Aria)
>Glinka, Mikhail : A Life for the Tsar
>     L'air d'Ivan Sousanine (Ivan Susanin's Aria)
>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Sadko
>     L'air du Viking (Song of the Viking Guest)
>Mussorgsky, Modest : Khovanchtchina
>     Air de Dosifei (Dosifey's Aria)
>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Iolanta
>     L'Air de René (King René's Aria)
>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Eugene Onegin
>     L'air du Prince Gremin (Prince Gremin's Aria)
>Rachmaninov, Sergei : Aleko
>     Cavatine d' ('s Cavatina)
>Mussorgsky, Modest : Boris Godounov

Album Summary

>Borodin, Alexander : Prince Igor
>Glinka, Mikhail : A Life for the Tsar
>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Sadko
>Mussorgsky, Modest : Khovanchtchina
>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Iolanta
>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Eugene Onegin
>Rachmaninov, Sergei : Aleko
>Mussorgsky, Modest : Boris Godounov
Performer Ensemble Composers

Notes & Reviews:

By 1972, Rouleau, at the height of his glory, was singing at London's Covent Garden, his home base, as well as in Oxford, Liverpool, Cambridge, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Nice. But he returned to Montréal several times, notably to record an episode of Beaux Dimanches, remastered for this recording, with the Radio-Canada orchestra under the baton of Jean Deslauriers, whom he had known from his early days. He performs two selections from Borodin's Prince Igor, another opera that was a fixture of his career, and the aria of the national hero Ivan Susanin in Glinka's A Life for the Tsar, a huge success when it premiered and that conferred on Glinka the title of "the first Russian composer." He also sings the "Song of the Viking Guest" from Rimsky-Korsakov's Sadko, made famous by Chaliapin, and two selections by Tchaikovsky: King René's aria from Iolanta (based on a play by Henrik Hertz and set to a libretto by his brother, Modest Tchaikovsky), and Prince Gremin's aria from Eugene Onegin, in which the retired general relates his love for his wife, Tatyana, whose heart had been broken by Onegin years earlier. Rouleau also sings (with piano accompaniment) Dosifey's aria from Khovanshchina, the unfinished opera by Modest Mussorgsky inspired by the Moscow rebellion of 1682, and Aleko's cavatina from Sergei Rachmaninov's Aleko, composed in 17 days as a graduation work, earning the young composer a rarely awarded Great Gold Medal from the Moscow Conservatory.

In the accompanying bonus DVD, Rouleau performs the final aria from Boris Gudonov, in which the title character, seeing his country descend into chaos and wracked with guilt and hallucinations, sinks into madness and dies, asking for God's forgiveness.

American Record Guide, March/April 2014
This Canadian singer, born in Quebec in 1929, was, from 1957, the principal bass at Covent Garden for almost 30 years. During that time he also enjoyed an extensive international career embracing a repertoire of nearly 50 operas. He retired laden with honours and, after spending many years teaching, is currently President of Jeunesse Musicale of Canada. Sound on all these selections is satisfactory.



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Works Details

>Borodin, Alexander : Prince Igor :: L'air du Prince Galitski (Prince Galitsky's Aria)
  • Performer: Joseph Rouleau (Bass)
  • Ensemble: Orchestre de Radio Canada
  • Running Time: 4 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1869-1887

>Glinka, Mikhail : A Life for the Tsar :: L'air d'Ivan Sousanine (Ivan Susanin's Aria)
  • Performer: Joseph Rouleau (Bass)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1834-1836

>Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai : Sadko :: L'air du Viking (Song of the Viking Guest)
  • Performer: Joseph Rouleau (Bass)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1895-1896

>Mussorgsky, Modest : Khovanchtchina :: Air de Dosifei (Dosifey's Aria)
  • Performer: Joseph Rouleau (Bass)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1872-1880

>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Iolanta :: L'Air de René (King René's Aria)
  • Performer: Joseph Rouleau (Bass)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 57 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1891

>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Eugene Onegin :: L'air du Prince Gremin (Prince Gremin's Aria)
  • Performer: Joseph Rouleau (Bass)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1877-1878

>Rachmaninov, Sergei : Aleko :: Cavatine d' ('s Cavatina)
  • Performer: Joseph Rouleau (Bass)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1892

>Borodin, Alexander : Prince Igor :: L'Air de Kontchak (Konchak's Aria)
  • Performer: Joseph Rouleau (Bass)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1869-1887

>Mussorgsky, Modest : Boris Godounov :: La scène de la mort de (Boris Godunov's Death Scene)
  • Performer: Joseph Rouleau (Bass)
  • Notes: Composition written: 1868-74.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1868-1874