Author Topic: Russian Operas  (Read 18281 times)

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Offline Florestan

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Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #60 on: March 29, 2011, 03:59:03 AM »
(Posted this sometimes ago on "What are you listening to?" thread, but I think its proper place is rather here.)



This is quite Monteverdian in outlook, if I may risk a rather strange comparison: a Russian dramma per musica with minimal but effective orchestral accompaniment and, except two romances in the second scene of Act One (one of them strongly reminiscent of Glinka's Jota Aragonesa), with nothing in terms of clearly delineated arias or duettos --- just a continuous flow of more or less melodic recitatives. It's very short --- slightly over an hour --- but quite compelling drammatically.

The libretto was penned by Dargomyzhsky himself after Pushkin. Not having access to it, I had to recourse to the distant recollections of my secondary school Russian lessons, and lo and behold! they proved serviceable enough to allow me following the story --- of course, English synopsis in hand.

This is the only version I've ever heard of this opera so I can't make any comparisons in terms of performance. Nikolai Vassiliev sings a very cynical Don Juan, with no redeeming features until the last minutes of the Third Act, when he declares his sincere love for Donna Anna in a mellifluous "aria" accompanied by a truly heartfelt cello solo soaring over a muted orchestra --- a very touching moment indeed.

I would have been happier, though, if Donna Anna was sung by mezzo-soprano Tatyana Erastova and Laura by soprano Marina Lapina, instead of the actual other way around. The voice of the former is more suited to a woman who's been through the torments of Donna Anna than to an 18-year old frivolous actress who lives like there's no tomorrow. I know that it's the composers who wanted the voices that way, but it's quite a misjudgment, IMHO.

The atmospheric and unusualy thin and soft (for a Russian opera) orchestral accompaniment is handled convincingly by the Bolshoy Theater Orchestra under Andrei Chistyakov.

All in all, it's an enjoyable disc and considering its unbeatable price (picked it up in a bookstore for $6.5 / 4.7 Euro) I'd recommend it to anyone interested in a Russian take on Don Juan coming in the guise of a rarely performed opera.
“Beauty must appeal to the senses, must provide us with immediate enjoyment, must impress us or insinuate itself into us without any effort on our part.” — Claude Debussy

Offline Superhorn

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Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #61 on: March 29, 2011, 07:49:28 AM »
   Have you heard "The Stoned Guest" by the immortal P.D.Q. Bach ?

Offline Florestan

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Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #62 on: March 29, 2011, 10:32:49 AM »
   Have you heard "The Stoned Guest" by the immortal P.D.Q. Bach ?

No, but I imagine it is a parody of... of what?  :)
“Beauty must appeal to the senses, must provide us with immediate enjoyment, must impress us or insinuate itself into us without any effort on our part.” — Claude Debussy

Offline yashin

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Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #63 on: April 01, 2011, 05:24:42 AM »
What about Anton Rubensteins "The Demon" or "Der Damon" as it is often called. Sung in Russian.  I have two recordings.

http://www.amazon.com/Rubinstein-Demon-Complete-Opera/dp/B00000464M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1301663765&sr=1-1-spell

Which is a live version from the Wexford festival, I must admit it is very 'live' in the sense of stage movement noise

and

http://www.amazon.com/Demon-Rubinstein/dp/B00000DMIC/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1301663801&sr=1-11-spell

This one i much prefer. I am a fan of the conductor Fedoseyev.  The opera has some beautiful moments and is well worth seeking out.

As for 'The queen of spades/Pique Dame' how about this live version from Russia and the same conductor.  I must admit it is my favourite

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pique-Dame-Pyotr-Ilyich-Tchaikovsky/dp/images/B00008Z1TR

I never forget seeing Gegam Grigorian singing the part of Hermann a few years ago now in Manchester UK at the Bridgewater Hall. It was sensational.

I am not sure if either of these tenors can erase the sound of Georg Nelepp from this version

http://www.amazon.com/Tchaikovsky-Queen-Spades-Alexei-Ivanov/dp/B00005O7YV/ref=sr_1_25?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1301664157&sr=1-25

I generally love Russian Opera, need to buy more i think and improve my collection




Offline The new erato

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Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #64 on: April 01, 2011, 06:02:32 AM »
No, but I imagine it is a parody of... of what?  :)
Don Giovanni? ;)

Offline Harry Powell

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Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #65 on: April 01, 2011, 10:25:49 AM »


I am not sure if either of these tenors can erase the sound of Georg Nelepp from this version

http://www.amazon.com/Tchaikovsky-Queen-Spades-Alexei-Ivanov/dp/B00005O7YV/ref=sr_1_25?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1301664157&sr=1-25

I think no one has approached Nelepp's Herman.
I'm not an native English speaker, so please feel free to let me know if I'm not expressing myself clearly.

Offline Mozart

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Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #66 on: April 01, 2011, 07:19:28 PM »
I have never managed to crack Pique Dame, how did you find it?

Mike

I can't say it bored me, but I haven't managed to make it through act 2 yet for one reason or another. I think it might be lacking the complex, realistic characters that Eugene Onegin has. Somehow I feel it won't become a favorite once I get through it, although I wouldn't mind seeing it live sometime.
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Brahmsian

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Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #67 on: July 22, 2011, 02:58:10 PM »
Shostakovich, The Nose, on DVD.  What does everyone recommend?  Please and thanks!  8) :)

Offline PaulR

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Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #68 on: July 22, 2011, 04:01:06 PM »
Shostakovich, The Nose, on DVD.  What does everyone recommend?  Please and thanks!  8) :)
I only know of one DVD:  http://www.amazon.com/Shostakovich-Nose/dp/B003QWVPRQ/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1311382665&sr=8-3

I would love to know if there is another DVD.  I didn't finish watching, but it seemed a little bit strange.  It appeared as if the motions of the mouth didn't match up with the voices.  Could have been just me, or an editing issue.  I don't know.

The CD that Gergiev has out of the Nose is great though.  Wish he would do a DVD of it though

Brahmsian

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Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #69 on: July 22, 2011, 04:17:30 PM »
I only know of one DVD:  http://www.amazon.com/Shostakovich-Nose/dp/B003QWVPRQ/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1311382665&sr=8-3

I would love to know if there is another DVD.  I didn't finish watching, but it seemed a little bit strange.  It appeared as if the motions of the mouth didn't match up with the voices.  Could have been just me, or an editing issue.  I don't know.

The CD that Gergiev has out of the Nose is great though.  Wish he would do a DVD of it though

Thanks Paul.  What a shame there is only one DVD recording.  :(

Offline PaulR

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Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #70 on: July 22, 2011, 04:19:10 PM »
Thanks Paul.  What a shame there is only one DVD recording.  :(
I'm hoping I am wrong though  :P

Even though I like Lady Macbeth more, I still like The Nose a lot.  I wish the production at the Met was taped for DVD, I really enjoyed the production when I saw it last year

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Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #71 on: July 22, 2011, 04:21:59 PM »
I'm hoping I am wrong though  :P

Even though I like Lady Macbeth more, I still like The Nose a lot.  I wish the production at the Met was taped for DVD, I really enjoyed the production when I saw it last year

I ABSOLUTELY ADORE this production of Lady Macbeth......fantastic, burlesque, just superb in every possible way!!


Offline PaulR

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Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #72 on: July 22, 2011, 04:23:34 PM »
I ABSOLUTELY ADORE this production of Lady Macbeth......fantastic, burlesque, just superb in every possible way!!

I love that DVD too, as well as the Rostropovich CD of it.  I have another DVD of Lady Macbeth, but it's not as good as that one

Brahmsian

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Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #73 on: July 22, 2011, 04:25:49 PM »
I love that DVD too, as well as the Rostropovich CD of it.  I have another DVD of Lady Macbeth, but it's not as good as that one

I think Eva-Maria Westbroek is so sexy in this.   :)
« Last Edit: July 22, 2011, 05:33:03 PM by ChamberNut »

Brahmsian

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Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #74 on: July 22, 2011, 05:29:34 PM »

The CD that Gergiev has out of the Nose is great though.  Wish he would do a DVD of it though

I wonder if there will be one coming out for this, eventually?  Unless it was of course, a purely studio recording.

Offline Brewski

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Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #75 on: July 22, 2011, 05:39:11 PM »
I'm hoping I am wrong though  :P

Even though I like Lady Macbeth more, I still like The Nose a lot.  I wish the production at the Met was taped for DVD, I really enjoyed the production when I saw it last year

I loved that production of The Nose (conceived and designed by the South African artist William Kentridge), and was a little dispirited to find out that the Met hadn't chosen it for one of its live movie theater broadcasts. (If nothing else, how can you not be charmed by a guy in a giant nose costume running around the stage? ;D) After the movie showings, some of these broadcasts have then been released on DVD, and I was hoping that this would be the case here. Oh well...

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Offline PaulR

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Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #76 on: July 22, 2011, 06:19:55 PM »
I loved that production of The Nose (conceived and designed by the South African artist William Kentridge), and was a little dispirited to find out that the Met hadn't chosen it for one of its live movie theater broadcasts. (If nothing else, how can you not be charmed by a guy in a giant nose costume running around the stage? ;D ) After the movie showings, some of these broadcasts have then been released on DVD, and I was hoping that this would be the case here. Oh well...

--Bruce
Not being in the theaters did have one advantage, got me to actually go to the Met.....Which was a fantastic experience, even despite the lousy weather getting back to Buffalo.  (I wanted to fly back on that Saturday, but.....it was that day with 70mph wind, plus rain....flight was canceled....had to take the train back).  I think seeing it live was far more impressive than seeing it in theaters.  :D

I guess there is still hope that it could still be made into a DVD.  I would buy it :D 

My next trip down to the Met will probably be for their production of Khovanschina, which luckily falls (One of the dates) during my spring break, and the day before my birthday :D

Offline Brewski

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Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #77 on: July 22, 2011, 06:31:28 PM »
Not being in the theaters did have one advantage, got me to actually go to the Met.....Which was a fantastic experience, even despite the lousy weather getting back to Buffalo.  (I wanted to fly back on that Saturday, but.....it was that day with 70mph wind, plus rain....flight was canceled....had to take the train back).  I think seeing it live was far more impressive than seeing it in theaters.  :D

I guess there is still hope that it could still be made into a DVD.  I would buy it :D 

My next trip down to the Met will probably be for their production of Khovanschina, which luckily falls (One of the dates) during my spring break, and the day before my birthday :D

Yes, yes, yes to everything - seeing it in person was the way to go. (And who knows when it will return - if ever - so you may have a memory to savor for a very long time.)

I saw this production of Khovanschina c. 1985 (when it debuted) and enjoyed it a lot, especially the last scene, so you are in for a treat - what a nice way to celebrate a birthday! According to the Met database, it hasn't been seen since 1999.

--Bruce
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Offline Wendell_E

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Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #78 on: July 23, 2011, 01:57:22 AM »
I loved that production of The Nose (conceived and designed by the South African artist William Kentridge), and was a little dispirited to find out that the Met hadn't chosen it for one of its live movie theater broadcasts. (If nothing else, how can you not be charmed by a guy in a giant nose costume running around the stage? ;D) After the movie showings, some of these broadcasts have then been released on DVD, and I was hoping that this would be the case here. Oh well...

--Bruce

The Nose is supposed to return to the Met in 2013-14, perhaps it'll come to movie theatres then.  Also, it was a co-production with the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, and the Opéra National de Lyon, so maybe one of those performances was filmed.  I heard a live broadcast of a Lyons performance on Bastille Day.  Different conductor and some different singers from the Met performances:

Direction musicale : Kazushi Ono
Orchestre : Orchestre de l'Opéra national de Lyon
Choeur : Choeur de l'Opéra national de Lyon
Chef de choeur : Alan Woodbridge
Mise en scène et vidéo : William Kentridge

Distribution:
     
Kovaliov : Vladimir Samsonov
Le Nez : Alexander Kravets
L'Inspecteur de police : Andreï Popov
Ivan Yakovlévitch : Vladimir Ognovenko
Praskovia Ossipovna : Claudia Waite
Ivan le domestique : Vassily Efimov
Le Fonctionnaire du journal : Yuri Kissin
Le Docteur : Gennady Bezzubenkov
Madame Podtotchina : Margarita Nekrasova
La Fille de Madame Podtotchina : Tehmine Yeghiazaryan
« Last Edit: July 23, 2011, 02:05:20 AM by Wendell_E »
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Offline pjme

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Re: Russian Operas
« Reply #79 on: October 17, 2020, 07:45:26 AM »
Yesterday, on TV, Rimsky Korsakov: The golden cockerel.

Great fun, inspite of the rather kitschy sets and costumes (a mix of Japanese No theater, Ballets Russes & Cecil B.DeMille).
Great voices ( Barry Banks as the astrologer!!), tons of tunes and a brillant orchestra.

From the Théâtre Musical de Paris, Châtelet, 2002
Opera in three acts by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and libretto by Vladimir Belsky based on Alexander Pushkin's poem The Tale of the Golden Cockerel.
St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theatre Chorus
Andrei Petrenko - conductor

Orchestre de Paris
Kent Nagano - conductor

King Dodon - Albert Schagidullin
Prince Guidon - Ilya Levinsky
Prince Afron - Andrei Breus 
General Polkan - Ilya Bannik
Amelfa - Elena Manistina
Astrologer - Barry Banks
Queen of Shemakha - Olga Trifonova 
The Golden Cockerel - Yuri Maria Saenz
« Last Edit: October 17, 2020, 07:50:49 AM by pjme »