Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


CD REVIEW

Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android


Tudor 7188


Vaughan Williams Symphony 3 etc.


Lyrita New Recording


Lyrita Premiere Recordings

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

 

 

 

alternatively AmazonUK AmazonUS

 

Modest MUSSORSKY (1839-1881)
Boris Godunov - Opera in Prologue and Four Acts (1869-74) [223:31]
Martti Talvela (bass) – Boris Godunov; Nicolai Gedda (tenor) – Grigory/Dimitti; Leonard Mróz (bass) – Pimen; Bożena Kinasz (mezzo) – Marina; Andrej Hiolski (baritone) – Rangoni/Shchelkalov; Aage Haugland (bass) – Varlaam; Kazimerz Pustelak (tenor) – Missail; Bohdan Paprocki (tenor) – Shiusky; Wiera Baniewicz (mezzo) – Fydor; Halina Łukomska (soprano) – Xenia; Bożena Brun-Barańska (contralto) – Nurse; Stefania Toczyska (mezzo) – Hostess of the Inn; Paulos Raptis (tenor) – The Simpleton; Kazimierz Sergei – Police Officer; Jan Góralski (baritone) – Boyar Khruschov; Włodzimierz Zalewski (baritone) – Mitukh; Władysław Juroszek, Roman Dyllus, Joachim Luks, Pioth Komarek, Jan Harazin, Eugeniusz Jędrych – Boyars and Jesuits; Zofia Romanowska – First Peasant Woman; Maria Ćwiakowska – Second Peasant
Polish Radio Chorus of Krakow; Boy’s Chorus from Krakow Philharmonic Chorus; Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra/Jerzy Semkow
rec. August 1976, Katowice, Poland.
Synopsis included but no text or translation
EMI CLASSICS 5091782 [3 CDs: 73:55 + 73:38 + 75:58] 


Experience Classicsonline


This was a pioneering set when first issued as it did not use the version of the text revised and to some degree rewritten by Rimsky-Korsakov. Instead it made use of a version which aimed to be closer to the composer’s original text. This is however by no means a straightforward matter in relation to this opera, not least because it exists essentially in two very different forms. The first version completed in 1869 comprised seven scenes, ending with the death of Boris. A much longer revised version was published in 1874, adding two scenes set in Poland (Act 3) and finishing with a scene in a forest glade near Kromy. The latter replaces a scene set before St Basil’s Cathedral which had preceded Boris’ death in the 1869 version. Somewhat confusingly the present recording includes both the St Basil’s scene and the scene which replaced it with Boris’ death in between them and with some changes to reduce repetition. Given the very complex history of revisions of this opera I would hesitate to say that this is unquestionably wrong, but was surely a missed opportunity not to record one of the two main versions as it stood rather than producing the present hybrid. In the event that opportunity was left to the simultaneous recordings made later of both versions by the Kirov under Gergiev which enable the listener to get a much better understanding of the character and merits of each.

To that extent the present recording has been left behind but it does nonetheless have substantial virtues of its own. These are essentially those of general fidelity to the chosen musical text together with the negative virtue of none of the very large cast being inadequate for their part – by no means a negligible matter in an opera with so many named parts and of a general lack of the kind of larger than life vocal acting which put me off the opera for many years. Martti Talvela is a suitably commanding Boris and Nicolai Gedda sings with great beauty as Dimitri. At the same time neither they nor most of the remainder of the cast give the appearance of being particularly engaged in the drama. Worst of all, neither does the conductor, Jerzy Semkow, who fails to give the work the forward momentum that it needs if it is not to seem very long indeed.

EMI have not made the listener’s work easy. This is a long and complex opera and the non-Russian speaker needs to be able to follow it in detail to have a real understanding of what is going on. The detailed track-by-track synopsis is very well produced but is no substitute for a proper bilingual libretto. Although EMI promise this at their website I have been unable to find it there, and although you may be able to find other libretti of the work these may not necessarily be appropriate for the edition used on these discs. Under these circumstances and given the undramatic nature of the performance I regret that an undeniably worthy attempt at recording one of opera’s great masterpieces can only be given a muted recommendation at best.

John Sheppard


 


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools




Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.