Hungarian cello concertos





75th Birthday Tribute

Newest Releases




Piano Trios
  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Some items
to consider

Free classical music concerts by Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra

  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo
  • Stellar debut<br>piano recital
  • Clarinet transcriptions Jonathan Cohler
  • Jonathan Cohler & Claremont Trio
  • French clarinet masterpieces
  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo


String Quartet 1 & 2
Pavel Hass Quartet


RECORDING OF THE MONTH
Dvorak Opera Premiere
BEST SELLER


The Best


Vanhal


Francis Pott


Mahler 9 Elder


New Lyrita Release


British Violin and Cello Concertos


Lyrita New Recording


RECORDING OF THE MONTH
Ritchie Symphony 4

Mozart concertos

Editorial Board
MusicWeb
Classical Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Stan Metzger
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger
REVIEW
Plain text for smartphones & printers


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Altus
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get


Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
Modest Petrovich MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881)
Boris Godunov Musical Drama in four parts with prologue and epilogue after Pushkin's drama (revised version, 1872) Boris - Martti Talvela
Grigory (False Dmitry) - Nicolai Gedda
Marina - Bozena Kinasz
Pimen - Leonard Mrz
Varlaam - Aage Haugland
Shuisky - Bogdan Paprocki
Missail - Kazimierz Pustelak
Rangoni - Andrzej Hiolski
Fyodor - Vera Baniewicz
Xenia - Halina Lukomska
Hostess - Stefania Toczyska
Simpleton - Paulos Raptis
Polish Radio Chorus Cracow and Cracow Philharmonic Boys' Chorus & Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra/Jerzy Semkow rec. 921 July 1976, Katowice, Poland. ADD. stereo
EMI CLASSICS 7397042 [3 CDs: 71:38 + 73:38 + 75:58]

This was a brave recording of the original, non-Rimsky-fied version of Boris when listeners were still not acclimatised to the starker orchestration and more adventurous harmonies that Mussorgsky intended. It has many virtues, not least the great Talvela in a role tailor-made for his massive bass. He gives us a deeply felt Boris without resorting to the admittedly effective but increasingly unfashionable histrionics typical of his predecessors; his Tsar is more akin to the characterisation we hear from such as Nestorenko. There are other lesser-known but equally commanding singers in the cast, especially the immensely dignified and moving Pimen of Leonard Mroz and the splendidly subtle double act by Andrzej Hiolski as both Shchelkalov and Rangoni;his slightly husky baritone is a delight, oddly reminiscent of Italian baritone Mario Sereni, elegant and expressive. The Marina, too, is wonderfully vibrant and passionate, although I admit to never having heard of Bozena Kinasz. The Polish supporting cast, chorus and orchestra are fine, the latter making an especially warm sound in the strings in particular.
 
I admit to being less enthusiastic than previous reviewers about Gedda's Dmitri or Semkow's conducting. Gedda is elegant but always a bit throaty and constricted, especially in comparison with his Marina's huge, released sound; Gedda comes close to yelling in their big duet, just, I suspect, to keep up with her. Semkow is subtle but I find that he generates little excitement at key points; everything is very restrained and well-mannered but I need more raw Russian attack. For instance, his pulse verges on the slack in the great Slava chorus concluding the Prologue and during Boris's death. Nor am I ever much of a fan of Aage Haugland's clumsy, unsteady bass, although he is amusing when whooping it up as the drunk monk Varlaam.
 
In short, this is a fine Boris but not necessarily preferable to recordings of the original version such as that by Gergiev with the Kirov. It is cheap but comes without a libretto, which is essential to Western listeners.

Ralph Moore