CD 1 [73:22]
Arie antiche. Sung in
(1605-1674): Vittoria mio
(1670-1736): Come raggio del sol
CONTI (1681-1732): Quella
fiamma che m'accende
PERGOLESI (1710-1736) Se
tu m'ami (Paolo Antonio Rolli)
(1733-1806): Caro mio ben (anonymous)
(1802-1861): Pieta, Signore (anonymous)
Moscow Chamber Orchestra/Rudolf Barshai
(1813-1901): Ave Maria (1880) (liturgical,
sung in Latin)
Moscow Chamber Orchestra/Rudolf Barshai
MOZART (1756-1791) Exultate,
jubilate, K. 165 (liturgical, sung in
The following are sung in Russian
Ridente la calma, K. 210a (152)
Komm, Hebe Zither, K. 351
Als Luise die Briefe ihres ungetreuen
Liebhabers verbrannte, K. 520
An Chloe, K. 524 (Johann Georg Jacobi)
Cosi Fan Tutte, K. 588:
Act I, No. 4 Oh, guarda sorella (Galina
Petrovna Sakharova, soprano),
No. 9-La Regata veneziana. No. 10-La
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN
Songs of various nationalities
Vor der Tür,
Op. 28, No. 2
CD 2 [76:14]
Sung in Russian, unless otherwise stated
Frauenliebe und -leben, Seit
ich ihn gesehen. Er, der Herrlischte.
Ich kann's nichtfassen. Du Ring an meinem
Finger. Helft mir. ihr Schwestem Suffer
Freund. du blackest. An meinem Herzen.
Nun hast du mir den ersten Schmerz getan
Franz Peter SCHUBERT
Wiegenlied, Op. 98, No. 2, D. 498
Die Forelle, Op. 32, D. 550
Du bist die Ruh', Op. 59, No. 3, D.
Mullerin, OP. 25, D. 795: No.
Ellens Gesang III Op. 52, No. 6, D.
839. Ave Maria. (Sung in German)
Schwanengesang, D. 957:
Gebet, G. 331. Oh, quandje dors, G.
282. Der Cluckliche, G. 334. Loreley,
Les Contes d'Hoffmann, (
Vous me quittez?...Malheureux! Tu ne
comprends done pas...O dieu, de quelle
With Ivan Semyonovich Kozlovsky (tenor)
CD 3 [77:10]
Deux Mélodies Hébraiques,
No.1, Kaddish (Sung in Aramaic)
Manuel de FALLA
Siete Canciones Populares Espanolas,
(Sung in Spanish)
El Pano moruno. Seguidilla murciana.
Asturiana. Jota. Nana. Cancion. Polo
(1860-1903) (Sung in Russian)
Gedichte (51) von Goethe: No. 9, Mignon
Cedichte (52) van Goethe: No. 11, Der
Gedichte (53) von Eduard Morike: No.
Spanisches Liederbuch: No. 13, Seltsam
ist Juanas Weise
Spanisches Liederbuch: No. 16, Wenn
du zu den Blumen gehst
(1864-1949) (Sung in Russian)
Allerseelen, Op. 10, No. 8
Cäcilie, Op. 27, No. 2
Heimliche Aufforderung, Op. 27, No.
Morgen!, Op. 27, No. 4
Traum durch die Dämmerung, Op.
29, No. 1
Hat gesagt - bleibt's nicht dabei, Op.
36, No. 3
A charm of lullabies,
OP. 41, No. 5. The Nurse's Song. No.
4. A Charm (Sung in English)
The following are sung in Russian
Confident. Evening glow. Lilacs quickly
Pyotr Ilich TCHAIKOVSKY
In the garden near the ford. Op. 46,
With Galina Petrovna Sakharova (sop)
Let it sound no more, Op. 17, No. 3
Six children's songs, op. 59: no. 2
Winterabend, Op. 13, No. 1
When roses fade, Op. 36, No. 3
Spanish Romance, Op. 36, No. 4
CD 4 [70:34] All sung in Russian
Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY
Take my heart away.
Not a word, o my friend, Op. 6, No.
Both painfully and sweetly, Op. 6, No.
The Cloud, Op. 27, No. 2
Do not leave me, Op. 27, No. 3
It was in early spring, Op. 38, No.
Darkness fell on the earth, Op. 47,
Sleep, unhappy friend, Op. 47, No. 4
Does the day reign? Op. 47, No. 6
Tell me what you are thinking, Op. 57,
Do not ask, Op. 57, No.3
The first meeting, Op. 63, No. 4
The fires, in the room were already
extinguished, Op. 63, No. 5
Serenade, Op. 63, No. 6
Song of Zemfira
Mezza notte (c.1860)
Morning, Op. 4, No. 2
The Water-lily, Op. 8, No. 1
Prayer, Op. 8, No. 6
Midsummer nights, Op. 14, No. 5
Do not regret me, Op. 14, No. 8
The Answer, Op. 21, No. 4
Lilacs, Op. 21, No. 5
The Muse, Op. 34, No. 1
A Dream, Op. 38, No. 5
The extensive booklet
notes which run from p. 9 to p. 33 take
the reader through Zara Dolukhanova’s
biographical details. This is followed
by a commentary by Larry Friedman on
the contents of these four CDs.
Born in Moscow of Armenian
parents she made her debut in 1939 at
age 21 as Siebel (Faust). This was just
as the thunder of guns was coming to
dominate Europe, and Russia in particular,
for the second time in little over a
generation. In 1948 Dolukhanova became
a soloist for the All Russian Radio
remaining there for six years before
taking a like position with the Moscow
Philharmonic Society. During these periods
she honed her skills in a wide range
of Russian songs. These can be heard
on the second part of CD 3 and the whole
of CD 4. In 1951 there was the award
of the Stalin Prize after which she
gave many guest performances abroad.
The guest performances took her to thirty
different countries and perhaps stimulated
her desire to sing in a wide variety
of different languages although her
reputation was first and foremost as
an interpreter of Russian and Soviet
composers. Dolukhanova aroused wide
interest and enthusiasm at her New York
debut in May 1959. In her forties the
singer, unusually, changed her fach
upwards to soprano and took on lyrico-dramatic
roles such as Norma, Aida, Tosca and
Butterfly. In 1969 she sang Puccini’s
Suor Angelica at the work’s Russian
premiere. Now, in her mid-eighties,
she teaches at the Gnessin Russian Musical
These four discs cover
a wide diversity of repertoire and languages.
The opening Arie Antiche (CD 1 trs.
1-6) start well (tr. 1) with Dolukhanova
exhibiting a full-toned creamy mezzo
voice in a well recorded natural acoustic.
She sings this aria with smooth legato
and expression although her good Italian
has an unmistakable Slavic production.
The slower tempo of the second piece,
in which she adopts a hollow tone, stretches
her legato at times. In the well-known
Caro mio ben (tr. 4) the conductor’s
tempi are far too slow for my taste
but the singer comfortably encompasses
the bars of higher tessitura. As indicated
these arias are sung in the original
Italian. The following two pieces, Verdi’s
Ave Maria (tr. 7) and Mozart’s Exultate
jubilate (tr. 8) are sung in Latin and
leave entirely different impressions
one with the other. The Verdi, with
its echoes of Desdemona’s prayer in
act 4 of Otello, is sung with a good
variety of expression and tone; a very
satisfying rendition. The Mozart on
the other hand leaves me flummoxed.
Dolukhanova adopts a light girlish tone
depriving the voice of substance. This
is a soprano coloratura aria. Her coloratura
is sketchy and her interpretation stylistically
idiosyncratic. My ear finds the same
stylistic faults in the succeeding Mozart
arias (trs 9-12) and the extract from
Cosi (tr. 13). The Russian language
doesn’t help interpretation here even
in those pieces composed to a German
In the lieder of Schumann
and Schubert (CD 2 trs. 1-14) Dolukhanova
brings excellent tonal control and expression
with the Russian being less of a problem.
Stylistically the piano accompaniment
is appropriate and this contributes
to the satisfactory realisation of the
songs in a language other than the original.
I found Seit ich (tr. 1) and the brio
she brings to Wohin (tr. 12) particularly
appealing. The excerpts of French origin
(trs. 19-21) suffer from the language
problem, which should not hide the fact
that Dolukhanova could gainfully have
brought richer tone to Giulietta’s contribution
to the Hoffmann duet (tr. 19). To compensate,
her Core ’ngato is heartfelt, expressive
and vocally appealing.
The third disc starts
(tr. 1) with the haunting Kaddish, the
Jewish prayer for the dead. Here Dolukhanova’s
even tone adds to the effect. In the
vibrant rhythmics of the first two of
de Falla’s eight popular Spanish songs
(trs. 2 and 3) only the singer’s accent
detracts from complete enjoyment of
her tone, expression and interpretation.
The more contemplative Asturiana (tr.
4) is particularly well sung with a
variety of vocal colour. Dolukhanova’s
use of colour and expression in the
Wolf songs (trs. 9-13), and with the
Russian sound less intrusive, is also
impressive. The voice here is set a
little further back on the sound-stage
than in the previous extracts. The Strauss
songs (trs. 14-19) are accompanied by
the piano. She sings Morgen (tr. 17)
with clear tone and smooth legato. If
I miss the nuances of Schwarzkopf or
Norman, with orchestral support, it
is may be my familiarity with the compositional
language in those recordings more than
the singer’s limitations here. There
is no such reservation in respect of
the final tracks (23-32) of this disc
and the whole of CD 4. It is these tracks,
which, above all, will justify the purchase
of this issue. This is the repertoire
that Dolukhanova performed regularly
on radio and took on her foreign tours.
On all these 35 tracks we can hear a
consummate artist in her specialist
Although in the recording
notes (p.34) Richard Caniell makes apology
for some print through and deficient
signal to noise ratio, prospective purchasers
need not worry. The sound is eminently
presentable with Dolukhanova’s voice
always well caught in a clear acoustic.
Despite some idiosyncrasies of style
in the Mozart and the predominance of
the Russian language this diverse collection
should appeal to all lovers of singing.
Whether out in the market-place other
than specialist collectors will buy
into 4 CDs of a relatively unknown singer
remains to be seen. A two-disc issue
of the Russian songs together with a
sample of Dolukhanova’s Schubert, Schumann
and Wolf might have had more appeal.
Robert J Farr