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Mussorgsky: Boris Godounov Import

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Audio CD, Import, May 1, 1992
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$24.95 $10.29

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Product Details

  • Performer: Ruggero Raimondi, Galina Wischnewskaja, Wyatscheslaw Polozov, Paul Plishka, Nicolai Gedda, et al.
  • Orchestra: National Symphony
  • Conductor: Mstislav Rostropovitch
  • Composer: Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky
  • Audio CD (May 1, 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Erato
  • ASIN: B000005E6S
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #443,549 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Boris Godounov: Introduction orchestrale: Scene - Eh bien, qu'avez-vous?
2. Boris Godounov: A quis nous abandonnes-tu ?
3. Boris Godounov: Fideles croyants, notre boiar reste inexorable
4. Boris Godounov: Tu as entendu les hommes?
5. Boris Godounov: Scene du Couronnement, Coronation Scene
6. Boris Godounov: Mon ame est en peine
See all 17 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Boris Godounov: Ou est mon fiance?
2. Boris Godounov: Oh, c'est assez, Princesse - Chanson du Moustique, Mosquito Song
3. Boris Godounov: Ah, Nounou, en voila un conte, Jeu de la Main chaude, The Hand-Clapping Game
4. Boris Godounov: Qu'y a-t-il?
5. Boris Godounov: Comme c'est bien, mon fils!
6. Boris Godounov: Aie, chut! - Qu'y a-t-il donc?
See all 17 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Boris Godounov: Elle! Marina!
2. Boris Godounov: Eh bien, la messe est-elle finie?
3. Boris Godounov: Trrr, trrr, trrr
4. Boris Godounov: Aaah! Boris! Ils ont offense L'Innocent!
5. Boris Godounov: Nobles Boiars!
6. Boris Godounov: Eh bien, passons au vote
See all 17 tracks on this disc

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Harris on July 28, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov is so rich that it never can be encompassed by one interpretation, however strong. It's worth having two or more versions, including this one, conducted by Rostropovitch, on hand. Here's how it stacks up with two other fine quality, stereo recordings using Mussorgsky's original orchestration: Abbado's and Gergiev's.
Rostropovitch and the ensemble under his baton, provide both a polished orchestral presentation and dynamic drama dominated by one of the best Borises of the digital age. The story and the music reinforce one another seamlessly.
The dramatic presentation in the Rostropovitch version is much more exciting than that in the Abbado version, which focuses more on creating a flawlessly recorded, stunning symphonic and choral atmosphere. In the Rostropovitch version, beautiful children's voices add both an innocent element to Mussorgsky's dark drama and another stunning instrument to the orchestration. In the perfectly polished Abbado version, adult women with full voices flawlessly sing the children's roles.
Rostropovitch's production lacks some of raw dramatic heft of Gergiev versions, but it has more polish. The Gergiev CD set offers two complete versions, both Mussorgsky's 1868 version and the 1873, each complete and with different casts, making it a bargain, if such a thing can be said about overpriced classical music CDs. The Rostropovitch version contains only the 1872 score.
I have all three versions and listen to all of them with great pleasure. If, heaven forbid, I could only have one, this version conducted by Rostropovitch might be it. It would be a tough call to make.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Z. Damyanovich on July 1, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Let's start with the quibbles, on account of their relative insignificance: 1) I miss the real bells used on the Gjérgiev (especially!!!) and the Abbado recordings (the samples I got to hear alerted me to this - the chimes used here {as in most theatres} sound poor by comparison); 2) the Russian original-language libretto is incomplete (were more space allowed here, I'd have published the missing parts in the original Russian); 3) I wish the orchestra (very good indeed!!!) could be heard more even when the singers are in full voice (this defect relative to Culshaw's Wagner recordings - my standard in taste - also afflicts Rostropóvich's otherwise superb recording of Shostakóvich's "Lady Macbeth of Mcjénsk").

[Regarding point 2: mind you, the French and English translations are quite complete. Otherwise, I recommend downloading the original Russian-language libretto from other websites - and then piecing in the few things that are otherwise absent from the regular-performance libretto from the booklet supplied - Rostropóvich's reading gives this opera (a composite of the 1868 and 1872 versions) as completely as possible (the réprise of the Simpleton's scene in the last tableau, originally salvaged from the St. Vasíljiy's (Basil's) tableau cut in the 1872 version and which however is reinstated in this recording, could have been omitted consequently - though I'm glad it wasn't!).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jt52 on March 18, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I didn't even know about this 1987 recording of Modest Mussorgsky's "Boris Godunov" until a few weeks ago but am very glad that's changed, as it is one of the best opera recordings I've heard in the last few years. The performance is consistently very good across all parameters, with a general interpretation that emphasizes detailed phrasing and balancing of voices and instruments, rather than sheer emotional power, such as the approach taken by Nikolai Golovanov in his classic version.

This interpretive approach all begins with the conducting of Mstlav Rostropovich, leading Washington DC's National Orchestra. Rostropovich does a simply admirable job of balancing the instrumental combinations to fully bring Mussorgsky's marvelous orchestration. Without over-polishing Mussorgsky's style into a more mainstream 19th-century product, the orchestra is both transparent - so that the opera's rich and significant tapestry of leitmotivs are readily apparent - and original - the bare but refined textures come through and fully exhibit the originality, even iconoclasm, of the instrumentation. Also commendable is the balance Rostropovich achieves during the choral scenes. Recordings of choral music are likely the most problematic area of sound engineering. The Erato engineers deserve credit for a remarkable studio job throughout, but nowhere is the achievement more marked than in the large choral scenes in the Prologue and Kromy Forest scenes that bookend Boris, where the chorus comes through with little distortion.

Ruggero Raimondi's Boris is outstanding. Raimondi was in his years during the 1980s and he apparently lavished effort on this role. His singing is detailed and his voice rich and beautiful.
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