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Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov (1869 version, live)

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Catalogue numberBIS-2320 SACD
Release date2019-09-06
Discs2
Orig. sample rate96000Hz

Modest Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov stands out among the major works of the opera repertoire in having an extremely complex creative history. The original libretto, by the composer himself, was based closely on Pushkin’s Shakespeare-inspired drama about the ill-fated Russian ruler. Mussorgsky completed the score in 1869, and submitted it to the committees of the Imperial Theatres.. It was rejected, however, primarily because of the lack of a female lead and therefore a love interest, but Mussorgsky’s unadorned style has also been mentioned as a reason. In 1871 the composer therefore reworked the opera extensively, adding new scenes – and a female principal in the form of the Polish princess Marina Mniszek – and changing the overall structure from seven scenes into a prologue and four acts.

The revised Boris was completed in 1872, and two years later it was finally performed in St Petersburg, while the Moscow audience had to wait until 1888, seven years after the death of its composer. In order to promote the work, Mussorgsky’s colleague and friend Rimsky-Korsakov later undertook to revise the work, making the orchestration more traditional and colourful and softening a number of harsh harmonies. It was the Rimsky-Korsakov version that took the opera out of Russia and without it, the opera would not be as widely known as it is today. In recent times, however, several opera houses have begun performing the more abrasive original version from 1869, and it is this ‘Ur-Boris’ that has been recorded here. It is performed by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra under its principal guest conductor, Kent Nagano. They are joined by a cast of mainly Russian vocal soloists, headed by Alexander Tsymbalyuk as Boris, a role he performed under Nagano already in 2013 at the Bayerische Staatsoper. In the opera, as in Pushkin’s drama, the Russian people plays a hugely important role – here performed by the Göteborg Opera Chorus.
 
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$ 29.98
 
Extra material for download
 
 
Disc 1
 
  Composer: Mussorgsky, Modest
  Scene 1: Boris is called to the throne 16:19
01 What’s up with you? 05:36 $ 1.34 USD
02 For whom do you desert us? 01:24 $ 0.34 USD
03 True-believers! The boyar is steadfast 02:35 $ 0.62 USD
04 Glory to thee, Almighty Creator 06:44 $ 1.62 USD
 
  Scene 2: The Coronation Scene 08:04
05 Long live Tsar Boris Feodorovich! 04:21 $ 1.04 USD
06 My soul is grieving 02:15 $ 0.54 USD
07 Glory! Glory! Glory! 01:28 $ 0.35 USD
 
  Scene 3: In Pimen’s Cell 21:20
08 One more, one final tale 04:24 $ 1.06 USD
09 That dream once more! 01:44 $ 0.42 USD
10 You have been awake and writing all night 06:58 $ 1.67 USD
11 Good father, I have often wanted 05:16 $ 1.26 USD
12 It’s ringing for matins 02:58 $ 0.71 USD
 
  Scene 4: At the Inn 16:32
13 What can I offer you, reverend fathers? 02:14 $ 0.54 USD
14 Once upon a time in the city of Kazan 02:00 $ 0.48 USD
15 Why aren’t you singing? 04:37 $ 1.11 USD
16 He rides on… 03:42 $ 0.89 USD
17 I can read 03:59 $ 0.96 USD
 
 
Disc 2
  Scene 5: Kremlin Scene 24:41
01 My beloved bridegroom 02:39 $ 0.64 USD
02 Enough, my Tsarevna 05:28 $ 1.31 USD
03 I’ve achieved the highest power 04:17 $ 1.03 USD
04 What do you want? 04:31 $ 1.08 USD
05 But no! Wait, wait a moment 03:02 $ 0.73 USD
06 Death does not frighten me 04:44 $ 1.14 USD
 
  Scene 6: In front of the Cathedral of St Basil the Blessed 11:19
07 Is the mass over? 03:44 $ 0.90 USD
08 Trrrr… Tin hat 04:10 $ 1.00 USD
09 Why is he crying? 03:25 $ 0.82 USD
 
10 Noble Boyars! 02:48 $ 0.67 USD
11 Well then, let us now vote 02:26 $ 0.58 USD
12 A pity that Prince Shuisky is not here 03:27 $ 0.83 USD
13 Begone! Begone! 02:53 $ 0.69 USD
14 A humble monk 02:51 $ 0.68 USD
15 Once, deep in sleep 02:24 $ 0.58 USD
16 Leave us... go away, everyone! 04:04 $ 0.98 USD
17 O Lord! Lord! Look down 05:48 $ 1.39 USD
  Album total 124:56
ComposerMussorgsky, Modest
ConductorNagano, Kent
OrchestraGothenburg Symphony Orchestra
PerformerKares, Mika
Paster, Maksim
Skorokhodov, Sergei
Tsymbalyuk, Alexander

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