Alexander Vedernikov, The Bolshoi Theatre – Highlights from Russian Operas, Vol. 1 (2006)
DSD64 (.dsf) 1 bit/2,8 MHz | Time – 01:15:45 minutes | 3 GB
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:15:45 minutes | 1,55 MB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | Genre: Classical
Alexander Vedernikov leads the orchestra, soloists and chorus of the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow on this first volume of Highlights From Russian Operas, including works by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Glinka and others.
This co-production of the Bolshoi Theatre (the word translates as “Great”) and Pentatone brings a sampling of the typical opera-goers’ experience in one of the great world centers of opera. And in exemplary surround sonics instead of the awful sound of Soviet-ear recordings or the so-so sound of many more recent Russian efforts. The opening of the original Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow in 1825 coincides with the birth of the national Russian opera. The Bolshoi today develops great traditions in a modern spirit. There are two stages where 500 performances are held each season, seating an audience of 3000 every evening. The best performers, directors, choreographers and conductors are retained for Bolshoi productions.
Bass voices have always been a strong focus of Russian opera, and the highlights program opens with two bass arias from Glinka’s A Life for the Czar. Dargomyszki’s Rusalka, seldom heard in the West, is next with a pair of arias featuring both tenor and bass soloists plus a male chorus. Three Tchaikovsky operas are excerpted with an aria from each: Iolanthe, Queen of Spades, and Mazeppa. The arioso from the latter is sung by baritone Yuri Nechaev; it was new to me and quite lovely. The selection from Rachmaninov’s Aleko is translated The magic power of song and again features a basso with male chorus. The familiar tunes of Borodin’s Prince Igor provide the final four selections on the disc. The soloists are baritone and bass with chorus. The last selection is one of the most energetic and dramatic versions of the orchestral Polovtsian Dances I’ve ever heard – making a grand audiophile wrap up to an interesting survey of the Bolshoi Experience.
01 – Mikhail Glinka: A Life for the Czar, Act 2: After the battle the god of war – Polonaise and chorus
02 – Mikhail Glinka: A Life for the Czar, Act 4: They sense the truth! – Ivan Susanin’s aria
03 – Alexander Dargomizhsky: Russalka, Act 3: Some unknown power – Prince’s cavatina
04 – Alexander Dargomizhsky: Russalka, Act 3: What does this mean? – Mad scene
05 – Tchaikovsky: Iolanthe: Net, charyi lask krasyi myatezhnoj… (Vaudémont’s Romance)
06 – Tchaikovsky: Queen of Spades, Act 3: It is close on midnight already – Lisa’s aria
07 – Tchaikovsky: Mazeppa, Act 2: Mazeppa’s arioso
08 – Rachmaninov: Aleko: Old Gipsy’s Story
09 – Alexander Borodin: Prince Igor, Act 2: No sleep no rest – Prince Igor’s aria (orch. Rimsky-Korsakov)
10 – Alexander Borodin: Prince Igor, Act 2: Are you in good health, Prince? – Konchak’s aria
11 – Alexander Borodin: Prince Igor, Act 2: Hey, bring the captive girls here! – Recitativo (orch. Rimsky-Korsakov)
12 – Alexander Borodin: Prince Igor, Act 2: Polovetsian Dances
Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra of the Bolshoi Theatre Moscow, Conducted by Alexander Vedernikov
Chorus Master: Valery Borisov
Concertmaster: Dmitry Khakhamov
Vladimir Matorin – bass on “1 & 2”
Mikhail Gubsky (Prince) – tenor; Alexander Naumenko (Miller) – bass on “3 & 4”
Vsevolod Grivnov – tenor on “5”
Elena Zelenskaya – soprano on “6”
Yuri Nechaev – baritone on “7”
Taras Shtonda – bass on “8”
Yuri Nechaev (Prince Igor) – baritone; Valery Gilmanov (Konchak) – bass on “9-12”
Recorded in November 2005 & February 2006 at The Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow, Russia.