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Boris Godunov Comp

Modeste Mussorgsky Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 76.95
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Product Details


Disc: 1
1. Andante/Nu, Shtozh Vy?
2. Na Kovo Ty Nas Pokidaesh
3. Pravoslavnyye! Nye Umolin Boyarin!
4. Slava Tebye, Tvorstu Vsevyshnemu, Na Zemle!
5. Moderato
6. Da Zdravstvuet Tsar Boris Feodorovich!
See all 21 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Gdye Ty, Zhenikh Moy
2. Kak Komar Drova Rubil
3. Ekh, Mama, Mamushka, Vot Kak Skazochka!
4. Chevo? Al Lyuty Zvyer Nasyedku Vspolokhnul?
5. A Ty, Moy Syn, Chem Zanyat?
6. Dostig Ya Vyshey Vlasti
See all 18 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. V Polnoch...V Sadu...U Fontana
2. Tsaryevich!...Opyat' Za Mnoy!
3. Dovol'No! Slishkom Mnogo Upryokov
4. Polonaise.../Vashey Strasti Ya Ney Vyeryu, Panye
5. Lezuit Lukavy Krepko Zhal Menya
6. Dimitry! Tsaryevich Dimitry!
See all 22 tracks on this disc

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Christoff Boris Dec 18 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
How I do love this recording! I got it on LP's eons ago. The CD re mastering is wonderful. Much more sonic detail.
I realize that we're now supposed to eschew (or even detest) the
Rimsky version of this opera (of which this recording is an example); but this Boris is still the one for me. Christoff (who sings three roles on this recording) is amazing as the tormented and guilt-ridden Czar. He floats the last few bars of the farewell to Feodor/prayer to a degree of breath-taking (No. Make that jaw-dropping) beauty I've not heard any other Boris do before or since this recording. Evelyn Lear is in sumptuous voice as Marina. The Dimitri and the rest of the cast are also admirable.
If one is not totally dedicated to the detestation of the Rimsky edition (or even if one is so dedicated), this is a Boris not to be missed.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
59 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christoff Boris Dec 18 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
How I do love this recording! I got it on LP's eons ago. The CD re mastering is wonderful. Much more sonic detail.
I realize that we're now supposed to eschew (or even detest) the
Rimsky version of this opera (of which this recording is an example); but this Boris is still the one for me. Christoff (who sings three roles on this recording) is amazing as the tormented and guilt-ridden Czar. He floats the last few bars of the farewell to Feodor/prayer to a degree of breath-taking (No. Make that jaw-dropping) beauty I've not heard any other Boris do before or since this recording. Evelyn Lear is in sumptuous voice as Marina. The Dimitri and the rest of the cast are also admirable.
If one is not totally dedicated to the detestation of the Rimsky edition (or even if one is so dedicated), this is a Boris not to be missed.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars When you tire of the cock-n-bull, this will satisfy March 30 2011
By Jurgen Lawrenz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I hope you're as tired as I am of all the cock-n-bull about Rimsky that we have to endure every time someone reviews Mussorgsky's opera. It is true that Rimsky turned it into a grand opera - it might even be the best work he ever did! But criticism of him fails the mark consistently. I have heard Shostakovitch's version, which sounds like Shostakovitch, and very little of 19th century opera survives. I have also heard Mussorgsky's own "unadulterated" product, and it feeble as an opera - more like a disjointed string of episodes, some good, some bad, and some disastrously inept. At best, it is suitable for a presentation of highlights. So why criticise Rimsky? Without him, there would be no Boris Godunov in the repertoire! Without him, Mussorgsky would be a cipher or a footnote in musical history!
The point is: the greatness and grandeur of Mussorgsky's conception actually survives in his completion.
So now that I got this off my chest, let's turn to Boris Christoff and his impersonation of Boris, Pimen and Varlaam. I doubt it was a happy choice. He sounds the same in all three roles. Until you get used to it and can follow it without a libretto, you can get confused about who is singing, especially when two of them are on stage at the same time. I actually prefer his earlier impersonation (mono only); but only marginally. His Boris is very impressive on all counts, and the stereo sound compensates for some slight reduction in the voltage of his portrayal. What a voice! What a tremendous range of expression!
The other singers are not up to the same standard. But then their roles are nowhere near as weighty or important. Lear is a seductive Marina; but Osunow sound a bit like an oaf, despite the strength of his tenor. The other outstanding singer is Anton Diakov: I hate Rangoni so much, that Diakov's portrayal must be perfect! The Chorus, especially imported from Bukarest on Christoff's recommendation, sing very well, but not conspicuously better than other choruses.
The orchestra and the conductor do a respectable job. You can't compare them with Karajan and the Vienna Philharmonic. But Karajan did not have Christoff to sing for him. That might be a decisive criterion for the prospective buyer. The sound technology is also dated. When the orchestra played mezzo forte or lower, the sound is beautifully soft and ample. But (at least on my set) the climaxes are a bit raw, especially the bells in the prologue, which are altogether oversaturated and downright unpleasant to endure.
I can live with his set. Indeed I've lived with it for nearly 40 years now, buying it three times (LP, tape and CD). Still, I can't in good conscience overlook its limitations, as mentioned above. Younger audiences may not be as forgiving to them as I have grown to be. Therefore they may be advised to check out reviews of alternatives, before they make up their minds.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Greats Oct. 24 2008
By Steven Muni - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This version is badly cut,and purists may sneer at the Rimsky-Korsakoff arrangement, but it has two things going for it. The first thing is Boris Christoff. The second thing is Boris Christoff. (He sings three roles in this recording, which is a little confusing, but what the heck!) Christoff, with a rich and powerful bass-baritone, was one of the 20th century's leading exponents of the role of Boris Godunov. He is simply a force of nature in the title role, yet with the ability to shade his voice into heartrending beauty and sorrow. The rest of the cast is excellent. Andre Cluytens conducts with a terrific mix of power and sensitivity, and the quality of the recording is quite good. While this may not be everybody's first choice, it belongs on every opera lover's shelf simply because it gives us the chance to hear one of the greatest bass-baritones of the century in his signature role.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mussorgsky Boris Godunov,with Boris Christoff ia still the best recording. March 18 2011
By Peter Dietrich - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
After listening to almost every available recording of Boris Godunov in print,and also some recordings out of print,I came to conclusion that the second EMI recording with Boris Christoff is still the best.It is the Rimsky-Korsakov version and it is much better ,then the so called Mussorgsky original. We know well that the 1869 version in seven scenes was rejected in February 1871 by the authorities of the Imperial Opera. We also know that the 1872 enlarged version was performed with success and then was also neglected.Thanks to Rimsky-Korsakov version ,which was until recent times the most successful version performed all over the world.Without his great work the opera. Boris Godunov,would probably be today little known opera ,like many other forgotten operas of great value. After all Rimsky-Korsakov was a great master of orchestration,just listen to his great orchestral woks ,Scheherazade,Capriccio Espagnol and Russian Easter Overture and you will know what I mean.
The present performance with Boris Christoff interpreting the three major bass roles with great skill and profound knowledge of Russian history and music is a great joy.He changes his dark voluminous voice to perfection and despite being recognizable he is different in every role.I like to inform you in case if you don't know that the great Russian conductor Issay Dobroven persuaded Boris Christoff to sing all three roles of Pimen Varlam and Boris Godunov.
The other roles are performed beautifully by Evelyn Lear "Marina",Dimitr Ouzounov"the False Dimitri",Anton Diakov"Rangoni" and the rest of the cast.Andre Cluytens leads the excellent chorus of the Opera of Sofia and Orchestre de la Societe DES Concerts du Conservatoire with great skill and profound knowledge.
I recommend this EMI studio recording to every music lover ,new commer or otherwise to experience and enjoy the splendor of a great Russian opera.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding in every regard March 1 2012
By James R. Mckain - Published on Amazon.com
While there are numerous recordings of Boris Godunov available, many of them more recent that this recording, none has yet eclipsed the beauty and magnificence of this, Boris Christoff's second recording. Stereo came along just in time to be available, and sound engineering had risen sufficiently that the sound does not suffer from the problems that are present in his first recording with Issay Dobrowen. Some say that Christoff was better in the first recording: I'd say he's about the same which is to say great beyond reckoning. Christoff's only serious competition in the role is Mark Reizen, and if you can find the Reizen recording, by all means buy it, but be prepared for a lesser quality of sound. The supporting cast in this Christoff recording is appropriately excellent, most particularly Anton Diakov whose rendering of Rangoni is unsurpassed in any other recording, and Evelyn Lear who shimmers as Marina. The orchestra and chorus, under Cluytens, perform with marvelous inspiration, and also surprising clarity for a recording from this era (circa 1960). As for the issue of Rimsky-Korsakov's orchestration, I prefer it to the original. No one else seems to agree with me these days, but I write that off to the current rage for so-called "authentic" music recording. Who knows but Mussorgsky may have preferred it himself had he lived to hear it. In any event, there is nothing in this recording to disappoint, and much to delight in.
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