One of the most grown-up review sites around

2019
51,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


Yes we are selling
Acte Prealable again!


we also sell Skarbo

and Oboe Classics


TROUBADISC

with Eggebrecht we get all the excitement we can handle

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Asmik Grigorian

Breathtaking Performance
controversial staging
Review Westbrook
Review Hedley
Every lover of Salome should see this recording
Mullenger interpretation

Vraiment magnifique!


Quite splendid


Winning performances


Mahler Symphony 8
a magnificent disc


a huge talent


A wonderful disc


Weinberg Symphonies 2 & 21
A handsome tribute!


Roth’s finest Mahler yet


Mahler 9 Blomstedt
Distinguished performance

 

REVIEW
Plain text for smartphones & printers

We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 reviews


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount



Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
Alexander BORODIN (1834 - 1887)
Prince Igor (1890) [210:33]
Boris Martinovich (bass-baritone) - Igor Svyatoslavich, Prince of Seversk
Stefka Evstatieva (soprano) - Yaroslavna, his wife
Kaludi Kaludov (tenor) - Vladimir Igorevich, Igor’s son
Nicola Ghiuselev (bass) - Vladimir Yaroslavich, Prince Galitsky, Yaroslavna’s brother
Nicolai Ghiaurov (bass) - Konchak, Polovtsian Khan
Alexandrina Milcheva (mezzo) - Konchakovna
Mincho Popov (tenor) - Ovlur, baptized Polovtsian
Stoil Georgiev (tenor) - Skula, buffoon
Angel Petkov (baritone) - Yeroshka, buffoon
Elena Stoyanova (mezzo) - Yaroslavna’s nurse
Sofia National Opera Chorus and Sofia Festival Orchestra/Emil Tchakarov
rec. 14 - 20 July, 1987, Hall 1 of the National Palace of Culture, Sofia. DDD
BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94608 [3 CDs: 73:31 + 73:33 + 63:29]

At Brilliant's prices it would be crazy to complain even if this performance were only adequate, but as it is, it is in fact in many ways very good. That’s especially true in terms of the sound and brilliance of the Sofia forces under Tchakarov's energised direction. Both chorus and orchestra are really impressive, singing and playing with huge verve and enthusiasm. The Polovtsian set pieces are very idiomatic: lilting and invigorating by turns. 

By and large we have here a number of star voices, some of whom are, to put it kindly, in their later flowering but they are still artists of note. Amongst these are veteran Bulgarian basses Ghiuselev and Ghiaurov, both a bit rough, rusty and unsteady of tone but also powerful and characterful as Galitsky and Khan Konchak respectively. Rather more elegant singing is provided by the smoothly authoritative bass-baritone Boris Martinovich, who also collaborated with Tchakarov in an excellent "Life for the Tsar" and as Rangoni in "Boris Godunov". It is possible to carp about some of the throatier comprimario tenor roles here and even lead tenor Kaludi Kaludov is at times a bit breathy and hoarse but he sings in very committed, convincing manner. The power of Stefka Evstatieva's soprano is occasionally compromised by the typical "Slavonic steam-whistle" effect she produces at forte but she is a compelling vocal actress. Alexandrina Milcheva is perfectly acceptable as Konchakovna and she has a serviceable lower register. That said, her voice does not have the velvety, sensual power of such as Obraztsova in what is, in my estimation, an unjustly neglected recording conducted by Mark Ermler. Some of the best singing may be heard in the stirring Third Act Trio for Konchakovna, Igorevich and Prince Igor and also the touching aria for Yaroslavna which follows that, feelingly sung by Evstatieva with some pointed use of smoothly controlled dynamics.
 
This does not shake my preference for the Ermler recording but I readily concede that this one is both subtler and much more affordable than that red-blooded version. It has no libretto, only an excessively condensed synopsis.
 
Ralph Moore