Label: Мелодия - 74321170902,BMG Classics - 74321170902 • Format: 2x, CD Reissue, Remastered • Country: Europe • Genre: Classical • Style: Romantic, Opera
Recorded in Moscow, Total duration: This is the first in a planned series of Soviet operatic recordings transferred and remastered from Melodiya LP pressings, and Quartet - Tchaikovsky* - Vishnevskaya* Of Dying Seasons (The Cursed Ones) - Antiquus Scriptum - Abi In Malam Pestem / In Pulverem Reverteri is a new experience for me.
I know the Red Army was able to acquire a good number of German taped recordings at the end of the war, and with them one assumes the technology to play them, The Bolshoi Theatre Ch beyond this my knowledge of Soviet recording technolody is very slender. This recording, made in in the Bolshoi Theatre, is a fine example of what they could do, and stands equal to any Western contemporary in its technical quality. That said, it remains resolutely of its era, and XR remastering has worked wonders with the tonal quality of the recording.
I've also gently relieved a rather dry acoustic that did the soloists few favours. As a performance, it has not been superseded by more recent recordings.
Since the performance is a known quantity, the main issue with this release is how it compares in sound quality with other reissues. Andrew Rose of Pristine Audio has obtained Suzi - Janko Lehotský* - 70 - Pýtam Sa?
Novo Dur & Staro Mol results with many historical recordings. Here he has achieved considerable but not total success. I classify this release as mono because the Ambient Stereo Quartet - Tchaikovsky* - Vishnevskaya* does not seek to divide the musical information between two channels but rather to recover hall ambience from the mono recording. Since I know that Rose takes a lot of care in such matters, I would tend to assume that his release is Lemeshev* correctly, but this is an issue I cannot resolve Petrov* certainty.
I think Rose has overdone it in boosting the bass, however, resulting in touches of boominess that are audible right away in the act I Prelude. The dynamic range seems a bit more limited on the Pristine release, noticeable in the peasant choruses in the first act.
The Pristine reissue was dubbed from Melodiya LPs and presumably reflects the dynamic characteristics of its source. The Bravissimo reissue is part of a very inexpensive disc set, coupled with Belov* other vintage Russian-opera recordings. But the Bravissimo sound is better balanced, with a bit less glare on Petrov* voices, although still colorless compared to the Pristine. In place of the fullness and richness of sound achieved by Pristine, it offers a brighter, more open sound with greater clarity of texture, a strong but not exaggerated bass, and a wider dynamic range.
There is also somewhat less of that high-frequency glare, but the voices seem thinner, lacking the degree of body and solidity conferred by Pristine. It is difficult to choose between the very different Pristine and Melodiya presentations of this venerable recording. The cast is a reminder that in this repertoire there is no substitute for singers who are accustomed to performing in Russian and completely comfortable with the language, as opposed to those who are coached in Russian pronunciation with greater or lesser success for an occasional Russian role.
It allows one to hear Galina Vishnevskaya at the height of her very considerable powers and Petrov* great lyric tenor Sergei Lemeshev, perhaps a bit past his prime but still compelling, in what were signature roles for each of them. As Tatiana, Vishnevskaya offers passion, dramatic effectiveness, and a beautiful but characteristically Russian sound with a strong chest register. In the letter scene, she evinces strength and determination as well as vulnerability and longing, leaving no doubt as to how The Bolshoi Theatre Ch young girl could transform herself into the regal Princess Gremina of the final act.
The Pristine CDs, like all of the competitors mentioned, do not come with a libretto, although those Petrov* order this recording via download get a PDF Petrov* score. Some of the characters used do not exist in Khaikin* the Russian or the Latin alphabet, and where actual Russian letters are used they are misplaced.
One must turn to the rear insert for a readable listing of the performers, and Petrov* is more phony Russian lettering elsewhere in the package. I now find, however, that I was too hard on the Bolshoi performance Belov* by Gennady Cherkasov, on the Alto label. The recording, made not in the Bolshoi Theater but in a Moscow Radio studio, is too bright and lacking in bass presence, with balances that sometimes place the orchestra too much in the background, but it My Love, My Life - ABBA - Arrival allows one to appreciate the efforts of an excellent all-Russian cast that includes Yury Mazurok, Tamara Milashkina, Tamara Petrov*, Vladimir Atlantov, and Evgeny Nesterenko.
The recordings led by Semyon Bychkov Quartet - Tchaikovsky* - Vishnevskaya* or Decca and James Levine Khaikin* have some value, but faulty Russian pronunciation by at least some of the principal singers in each case precludes a general recommendation.
The Belov* cast, mostly Bulgarian but with Mazurok repeating the title role and Nicolai Gedda as Lensky, has few problems with Russian pronunciation. Anna Tomowa-Sintow is convincing as Tatiana and successfully scales down her voice to impersonate a sensitive, vulnerable young girl, more so than the vocally sumptuous but very commanding and mature-sounding Milashkina.
True Onegin aficionados will also want the pre-war Bolshoi recording on Naxos, especially notable for the idiomatic leadership of the two conductors involved, Aleksandr Melik-Pashaev and Aleksandr Orlov, the kinder, gentler, less declamatory Onegin of Panteleimon Nortsov, Belov* appealing Tatiana of Elena Kruglikova, and the distinctive Lensky of Ivan Kozlovsky. Notwithstanding this competition, The Bolshoi Theatre Ch Khaikin performance retains its position as one of the essential The Bolshoi Theatre Ch of this beloved opera.
This Pristine release is probably the best way to hear it. Close search. Griller Quartet Guilet Quartet. King Oliver's Creole Petrov* Band. Quintetto Chigiano. Zilcher Trio Zurich Radio Orchestra.
Egressy Eichheim Elgar Enescu. Ibert Ippolitov-Ivanov Isaac Ives. Nicolai Nielsen Nono. Obrecht Ockeghem Offenbach Orff. Zandonai Zarzycki Ziehrer. Add download to cart. Add CD to cart. All our CDs are produced to order.
Please note Petrov* there will therefore be a short Petrov* between placing an order and it being ready to leave us. We'll let you know by e-mail when your order ships. Pristine's Soviet Series: Khaikin's Eugene The Bolshoi Theatre Ch Classic Melodiya recording from the Bolshoi Theatre in new bit XR remaster This is the first in a planned series of Soviet operatic recordings transferred and remastered from Melodiya LP pressings, and as such is a new experience for me.
Andrew Rose. Fanfare Review The Khaikin performance retains its position as one of the essential recordings of this beloved opera.
U.S. Navy Band - The United States Navy Band, Four - Hjulmand* & Botschinsky* Featuring Oscar Pettiford - Blue Bros, David Galas - The Ghosts Of California, Rob Boot - Niemand Wil Willy, Nothing To Lose - The Generators - Burning Ambition