Igor Gorin in Opera and Song: Victor Recordings 1938-42
Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881)
Khovanshchina - All is quiet in the camp [5:33]
Hopak [3:12]
Sorochintsy Fair - Reverie of the young peasant [4:16]
The garden by the Don [1:55]
Forgotten [2:21]
Where art thou, little star? [3:42]
Songs and Dances of Death - Lullaby [4:27]; Serenade [4:15]; Trepak [4:35]; The Field-Marshal [4:52]
Alexander GRECHANINOV (1864-1956)
Over the Steppe [3:08]
Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
None but the lonely heart [3:22]
Karoly GOLDMARK (1830-1915)
Die Königin von Saba - Lift thine eyes [3:48]
Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957)  
Die Tote Stadt – My Longing, My Yearning [4:52]
Non è ver [4:37]
Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868)  
Il Barbiere di Siviglia - Largo al factotum [4:40]
Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) 
Attila - Dagli immortal vertici [4:47]
Ruggero LEONCAVALLO (1858-1919)
Pagliacci - Prologue Si può…Un nido di memorie [5:36]
Igor Gorin (baritone)
Orchestra/Charles O’Connell; Orchestra/Wilfred Pelletier; Orchestra/Bruno Reibold; Max Rabinowitsch (piano)  
My MusicWeb International colleague Jonathan Woolf has already very favourably reviewed this disc of recordings made by Ukrainian-American baritone Igor Gorin. I do not propose to re-hash the biographical material he supplies in the first two paragraphs of his review but I am very much in agreement with his findings: this is an unusual voice: it is flexible and very characterful, with an admirable range of colours from a light suavity to a rich smokiness. You would not mistake him for anyone else but there is a recognisably Slavonic quality in his tone which is sometimes reminiscent of baritones such as Pavel Lisitsian. His diction is excellent, whether he is singing in slightly accented English or Russian and he has a remarkable ability to encompass a range of moods from the broad humour of the Hopak from “Khovanshchina”, to the devotional intensity of “Lift thine eyes”, to the Romantic yearning of the gorgeously schmaltzy aria by Korngold. His singing often evokes a curiously intimate quality suggestive of the radio-crooner yet the voice has surprising reserves of power – witness his virile delivery of the Prologue from “Pagliacci”, capped with a ringing top A flat - not an A, despite what the notes say. To complement this power, he also has command over a delicate and plangent mezza-voce, heard to great advantage in the haunting aria from “Sorochinsty Fair”. He even briefly displays some impressive coloratura technique in the cadenza of the aria from “Attila”. His Italian isn’t very idiomatic and he occasionally indulges in some wilful and possibly ill-advised parlando emphases such in the “Pagliacci” aria, but that performance nonetheless makes me wish an excerpt or two of his celebrated Rigoletto (broadcast on television) could have been included here. Perhaps the most typical and striking items here are his highly personal accounts of Mussorgsky’s songs and arias and it is both welcome and fitting that they make up half of this recital.. A highlight must be his extraordinarily expressive version of “Where art thou little star?” with its exotic melismata and Gorin employing every colour and gradation in his voice from full voice to the sweetest falsetto. Certainly both his repertoire and his delivery of it are both refreshingly unusual; it makes a refreshing change to listen to a compilation made up of so many recherché items. This is an artist who deserves to be better remembered, especially given how popular he was in his lifetime and how relatively recently he died.
The sound in these transfers from 78s is excellent with some inevitable hiss that one soon mentally screens out, and no distortion.

Ralph Moore

An unusual voice: flexible, very characterful, an admirable range of colours from light suavity to rich smokiness.