Notes & Reviews:
In 1849, translator, poet, and playwright Lev Mey (1822 - 1862) wrote a drama called The Tsar' s Bride, based on one of the passages from the era of Ivan the Terrible' s reign. In 1868, Mily Balakirev drew Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov' s attention to Mey' s work. However, the composer did not set to creating an opera based on the plot of The Tsar' s Bride until some 30 years later. Almost without changing Mey' s plot, Rimsky-Korsakov enhanced the dramatic qualities of The Tsar' s Bride with his musical means. The opera was premiered in Autumn 1899 at a Moscow theatre of the industrialist and patron Savva Mamontov, with Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov as conductor.
BBC Music Magazine, March 2015
A splendidly fiery version of Rimsky's tragedy, but some huge Bolshoi voices, notably Atlantov and Arkipova, overload their parts. The sound is rather bright.
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