Author Topic: Russian Operas  (Read 18282 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline marvinbrown

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3089
  • Richard Wagner- The God of Opera!
Russian Operas
« on: September 07, 2008, 08:58:05 AM »
  Opera fans I am upset  >:(, disappointed  :( and above all dismayed  :'(! There is hardly any discussion on Russian operas aside from the very few popular ones (Boris Godunov, Lady Macbeth and Eugene Onegin>:(.  We are in desperate in need of a thread on Russian Operas. 

  So which Russian Operas do you like? and why?

  Lately I have fallen in love with Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin

  I also have Shosty's Lady Macbeth, which always leaves my head spinning with bewildered excitement and  Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov, which has those wonderfull choruses.

  I just bought and have yet to listen to Borodin's Prince Igor, Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades and Mazeppa. I am so excited I do not know where to start! 

  I am also very curious to hear Prokofiev's and Rimsky-Korsakov's operas!

  So let's hear from you all! Don't be shy! Which Russian operas do you like and WHY?? Which recordings do you like?   

 
  marvin
 
« Last Edit: September 08, 2008, 01:49:48 AM by marvinbrown »

Offline Sarastro

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 739
Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2008, 10:38:54 AM »
  I just bought and have yet to listen to Borodin's Prince Igor, Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades and Mazeppa.

I am so excited I do not know where to start! 

Of course from The Queen of Spades . :D :D :D

Why is Glinka always forgotten?? He is so Russian, although took concepts of composing from the Italians.

I won't comment on anything, just add a few titles in your cart.

Sergei Rachmaninov:
Aleko
The miserly Knight
Francesca da Rimini

Alexander Dargomizhsky:
Rusalka 
The Stone Guest

Mussorgsky's Khovanshchina

Anton Rubinstein's Demon

Serguei Prokofiev:
The Love for Three Oranges (Lyubov k tryom apel'sinam)
The Fiery Angel (Ognennyi Angel)
The Gambler (Igrok)
Semyon Kotko
Betrothal in a Monastery (Obrucheniye v Monastire)
War and Peace (Voina i mir)

Tchaikovsky:     
Iolanta
The Maid of Orleans (Orleanskaya Deva)

Rimsky-Korsakov:    
The Maid Of Pskov (Pskovityanka)
May Night (Mayskaya Noch')
The Snow Maiden (Snegurochka)
Sadko
Mozart i Salieri (Mozart and Salieri)
The Tsar's Bride (Tsarskaya nevesta)
Kashchei the Immortal (Kashchei bessmertniy)
The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevronia (Skazanie o nevidimom grade Kitezhe i deve Fevronii)
The Golden Cockerel (Zolotoy petushok)

There are, of course, a few more operas by those composers, but I'm quite sure they are being no longer issued and sold, and the list above is enough for beginning.
I personally downloaded Rimsky-Korsakov's The Tale of Tsar Saltan (where the flight of the bumble bee is from, and there is also a wonderful Swan Princess' aria which is included in Netrebko's Russian Album) from a Russian torrent system; there is only one recording that was made fifty years ago in the Soviets and has been forgotten. As well as I downloaded Tchaikovsky's The Enchantress which was converted from LP's by some good man.

uffeviking

  • Guest
Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2008, 02:39:22 PM »
- anybody out there observing my attempts at getting my messages to look the way I want to? Hang on, I am still experimenting! -

uffeviking

  • Guest
Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2008, 02:42:31 PM »
I thought I had written a review of my latest Eugene Onegin with Peter Mattei. What a treat, maybe I can find it. Of course it's contemporary style, no famous waltzes being danced, but the music is there of course.

 

Offline Sarastro

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 739
Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2008, 02:43:19 PM »
Funnily enough, Anna Samuil and Ekaterina Gubanova, Tatiana and Olga respectively, sometimes visit Russian opera forums, and I met Gubanova in person in LA when she sang in Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky with LA-Philharmonics. Good to know this Onegin from Salzburg was issued on DVD, I heard just the translation but must say I would prefer other versions.

uffeviking

  • Guest
Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2008, 02:50:39 PM »
That is the beauty of having access to various versions of any opera - yes, concerts et al too - . I do have two more versions of Onegin but this Salzburg production is a stunner because Mattei is such a temperamental actor, fire and gentleness, all there combined in one outstanding singer and actor. The last act will bowl you over!

uffeviking

  • Guest
Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2008, 03:07:00 PM »
On top of the stack of DVDs to be watched is this latest Opus Arte:

http://www.opusarte.com/pages/product.asp?ProductID=227

It's the 2007 production at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona.

Offline Dancing Divertimentian

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5981
  • Posts: who's counting?
  • Currently Listening to:
    probably something somebody somewhere is snickering at...wait, Schoenberg! Definitely Schoenberg! (And, let's see, does he have a disciple or two...)...
Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2008, 05:07:47 PM »
Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth has already been mentioned but his other (completed) opera, The Nose, is every bit as good. It's everything you could ask from 'pre-crackdown' Shostakovich: darting rhythms, sparkling colors, the works.

Russian opera in general is great. I have operas from Mussorgsky, Borodin, Rimsky-Korsakov, and my favorite: Prokofiev.

Prokofiev's operas constitute some of his finest work. And some of the finest work of the Russian stage. Their neglect is criminal, but not hard to understand: Pavarotti has never featured in one. ;D


Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

Offline marvinbrown

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3089
  • Richard Wagner- The God of Opera!
Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2008, 10:36:00 PM »
Of course from The Queen of Spades . :D :D :D

Why is Glinka always forgotten?? He is so Russian, although took concepts of composing from the Italians.

I won't comment on anything, just add a few titles in your cart.

Sergei Rachmaninov:
Aleko
The miserly Knight
Francesca da Rimini

Alexander Dargomizhsky:
Rusalka 
The Stone Guest

Mussorgsky's Khovanshchina

Anton Rubinstein's Demon

Serguei Prokofiev:
The Love for Three Oranges (Lyubov k tryom apel'sinam)
The Fiery Angel (Ognennyi Angel)
The Gambler (Igrok)
Semyon Kotko
Betrothal in a Monastery (Obrucheniye v Monastire)
War and Peace (Voina i mir)

Tchaikovsky:     
Iolanta
The Maid of Orleans (Orleanskaya Deva)

Rimsky-Korsakov:    
The Maid Of Pskov (Pskovityanka)
May Night (Mayskaya Noch')
The Snow Maiden (Snegurochka)
Sadko
Mozart i Salieri (Mozart and Salieri)
The Tsar's Bride (Tsarskaya nevesta)
Kashchei the Immortal (Kashchei bessmertniy)
The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevronia (Skazanie o nevidimom grade Kitezhe i deve Fevronii)
The Golden Cockerel (Zolotoy petushok)

There are, of course, a few more operas by those composers, but I'm quite sure they are being no longer issued and sold, and the list above is enough for beginning.
I personally downloaded Rimsky-Korsakov's The Tale of Tsar Saltan (where the flight of the bumble bee is from, and there is also a wonderful Swan Princess' aria which is included in Netrebko's Russian Album) from a Russian torrent system; there is only one recording that was made fifty years ago in the Soviets and has been forgotten. As well as I downloaded Tchaikovsky's The Enchantress which was converted from LP's by some good man.

  Excellent! Thank you for posting this list Sarastro  :)!  This list should guide me well in my exploration.   I am also pleased to hear from donwyn that Prokofiev's operas "constitute his finest works".  It is ironic that I had never heard of them.
 
  Finally I am not sure exactly why the majority of Russian operas are neglected??  ???  Perhaps a lack of understanding by non-Russian artists, singers, conductors etc. of Russian operas over the past decades had something to do with it??  On my end and as an Englishman I am ashamed to admit that I am unfamiliar with most of the operas mentioned in Sarastro's list. I can only say that I have not been exposed to these operas for some reason. It is high time I fixed my problem.

  marvin

 

Drasko

  • Guest
Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2008, 06:22:35 AM »
There was an excellent recording of Glinka's Ivan Susanin: A life for the Tsar but is stuck in EMI vaults for as long as I can remember. It's with Boris Christoff in title role, Nicolai Gedda and Teresa Stich-Randall, Igor Markevitch conducting Lamoureux Orchestra and Belgrade Opera Chorus. It was very shortly on CD, never reissued, here is 10 minute excerpt:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/RQdGhjiXvKc" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/RQdGhjiXvKc</a>

Offline Brewski

  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 12365
  • "Man With No Shadow" by Makoto Tojiki (2009)
Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2008, 07:39:04 AM »
Another huge vote for Prokofiev's operas, specifically The Gambler, Semyon Kotko and War and Peace, all of which have some of the composer's best music--and that's saying something. 

And the Rimsky-Korsakov scores I've heard are engaging and filled with color: The Snow Maiden and The Invisible City of Kitezh are standouts.  I've got a few of the Gergiev/Kirov "blue boxes" (on Philips), and they are generally highly recommendable, with many outstanding Russian singers.

--Bruce
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

~Iannis Xenakis

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

Offline Dancing Divertimentian

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5981
  • Posts: who's counting?
  • Currently Listening to:
    probably something somebody somewhere is snickering at...wait, Schoenberg! Definitely Schoenberg! (And, let's see, does he have a disciple or two...)...
Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2008, 07:50:26 PM »
I've got a few of the Gergiev/Kirov "blue boxes" (on Philips)...

This is what I have, too. Nine of them to be exact. Excellent all around.



Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

Offline Dancing Divertimentian

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5981
  • Posts: who's counting?
  • Currently Listening to:
    probably something somebody somewhere is snickering at...wait, Schoenberg! Definitely Schoenberg! (And, let's see, does he have a disciple or two...)...
Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2008, 08:17:03 PM »
I am also pleased to hear from donwyn that Prokofiev's operas "constitute his finest works".  It is ironic that I had never heard of them.

They are such delights!

The three I have are: Semyon Kotko, Betrothal In A Monastery, and Love For Three Oranges.

Each with Gergiev/Kirov.

Semyon Kotko and Betrothal are more on the lyric side, with Oranges in Prokofiev's more jutting style. All are wonderful.






Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

Offline marvinbrown

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3089
  • Richard Wagner- The God of Opera!
Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2008, 02:31:25 AM »


 I just ordered this:

 
 

  After The Queen of Spades, Prince Igor and Mazeppa this will be my 4th Gergiev recording with the Kirov ensemble.

  marvin   

Offline Anne

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1269
Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2008, 01:31:51 PM »
There was an excellent recording of Glinka's Ivan Susanin: A life for the Tsar but is stuck in EMI vaults for as long as I can remember. It's with Boris Christoff in title role, Nicolai Gedda and Teresa Stich-Randall, Igor Markevitch conducting Lamoureux Orchestra and Belgrade Opera Chorus. It was very shortly on CD, never reissued, here is 10 minute excerpt:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/RQdGhjiXvKc" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/RQdGhjiXvKc</a>

Who lives closest to the Met that he could get an appointment with Peter Gelb, the Met's new general manager, and ask about Christoff's A Life For the Tsar by Glinka getting released?  Gelb had a recording background before he came to the Met.  The recording in discussion here is from EMI.  Gelb has worked a deal with EMI for the releases of the Met HD Live DVD's that are currently being sent all over the world.  I think it would be entirely possible that he could help us.

One other time at the Met's Opera News magazine forum, we all wanted the recorded, but not in print, Beverly Sills' performances of Donizetti's 3 Queens (Maria Stuarda, Anna Bolena, and Roberto Devereux).  We all sighed for them so much that they finally came out in print with them.  This website we are currently on probably does not have the popularity with suppliers that the Opera News' forum had.  Getting to Peter Gelb has promise IMHO.  Does anyone else have a way to talk to Gelb?  I think he was vice president of some major recording company just before he went to the Met.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2008, 12:11:14 PM by Anne »

M forever

  • Guest
Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2008, 05:18:37 PM »
Who lives closest to the Met that he could get an appointment with Peter Gelb, the Met's new general manager, and ask about Christoff's A Life For the Tsar by Glinka getting released?  Gelb had a recording background before he came to the Met.  The recording in discussion here is from EMI.  Gelb has worked a deal with EMI for the releases of the Met HD Live DVD's that are currently being sent all over the world.  I think it would be entirely possible that he could help us.

Do you have a computer and internet access? Then you could just email his office. If you don't have these electronic tools, you can also use analog mail.

karlhenning

  • Guest
Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2009, 03:46:58 PM »
Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth has already been mentioned but his other (completed) opera, The Nose, is every bit as good. It's everything you could ask from 'pre-crackdown' Shostakovich: darting rhythms, sparkling colors, the works.

Behold The Nose, itself

Offline Superhorn

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 844
  • Location: U.S.A.
  • Currently Listening to:
    I'm a classical music omnivore
Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2009, 08:49:24 AM »
 That old EMI recording of A Life For The Tsar was in my local library on LP ages ago, but unfortunately,it's heavily cut.
  More recently,I heard an uncut version from Sony Classical conducted by the late Bulgarian conductor Emil Tchakarov,with Bulagarian forces,and American tenor Chris Merritt in the cast. It's probably unavailable now, but worth looking for.
  Tchakarov was a gifted conductor who died tragically young. I saw him conduct a fine performance of Eugene Onegin at the Met years ago.

Offline Anne

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1269
Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2009, 09:18:31 PM »
I have a DVD of Glinka's A Life for the Tsar conducted by Alexander Lazarev with the Bolshoi Symphony and Chorus.  Ivan Susanin is sung by Evgeny Nesterenko.  Elena Zaremba sings Vanya.  Both of them are outstanding singers IMHO.  I especially like Russian operas using Russian singers, Russian costumes and Russian conductors.  It makes me feel like I had visited Russia.

This DVD runs 175 minutes, has NTSC format, Dolby, 4:3 Full Screen, and of course sung in Russian.  It was distributed  by Kultur (www.kultur.com)  There is a phone # listed - 732-229-2343.  I don't know if it still works.

I didn't notice whether anyone had mentioned Ruslan and Lyudmila also by Glinka.  On the DVD there is a little interview with the conductor (at the moment I cannot locate the DVD) who says that if anyone hears Chernomor's March from Ruslan, he cannot forget it.  I have to agree with him.  It is a very interesting march!
« Last Edit: March 13, 2009, 12:32:03 AM by Anne »

ChamberNut

  • Guest
Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2009, 04:05:29 AM »
Behold The Nose, itself

Karl,

Having watched the Shostakovich documentary Sonata for Viola last night, I'm now intrigued and very interested in hearing/watching The Nose!