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Home » Classical Downloads » Golovanov, Nebolsin: Mussorgsky – Boris Godunov (2 CD, FLAC)

Golovanov, Nebolsin: Mussorgsky – Boris Godunov (2 CD, FLAC)

Golovanov, Nebolsin: Mussorgsky - Boris Godunov (2 CD, FLAC)
Golovanov, Nebolsin: Mussorgsky - Boris Godunov (2 CD, FLAC)

Composer: Modest Mussorgsky
Conductor: Nikolai Golovanov, Vasili Nebolsin
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 2
Format: FLAC (image+cue)
Label: MVT
Size: 413 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Boris Godunov, Pimen, Varlaam – Feodor Shalyapin
Boris Godunov – Mark Reizen
Feodor – Bronislava Zlatogorova
Xenia – Elena Kruglikova
Nurse – Yevgeniya Verbitzkaya
Shuisky – Nikander Khanaev
Shchelkalov – Ilya Bogdanov
Pimen – Maxim Mikhailov
Grigory – Georgy Nelepp
Marina Mnishek – Maria Maksakova
Varlaam – Vasily Lyubenzov
Misail – Vasili Yakushenko
Innkeeper – Alexandra Turchina
Simpleton – Ivan Kozlovsky
Nikitich – Sergei Krassovsky
Khroshchov – Alexander Peregudov
Mityukha – Ivan Sipaev

Grand and glorious!

First, please note that several of the reviews posted here are NOT for the intended recording, but for an earlier, mono recording, and moreover not one with Boris Christoff. That said, let me address the operatic elephant in the room. That great bugaboo known as authenticity. This recording is, of course, the Rimsky-Korsakov version. BLASPHEMY!!! Let me be clear…I am generally in favor of authenticity, although it might not be inappropriate to ask what that term precisely means. The Rimsky version is, it should be noted, the one I grew up with, so perhaps my opinion is not altogether objective. I should also add that I own a recording of what is, supposedly that so-called “authentic” version, the Philips recording with Alexander Vedernikov, which is also some fifteen to twenty years newer (it was recorded over some five years!). Personally, I prefer the recording under discussion here. For my taste, this version represents the best of two worlds: Mussorgsky’s gorgeous and frequently heart-rending melodies, with Rimsky’s sumptuous orchestration. Furthermore, the entire structure is rendered more coherent. Yes, it may lack Mussorgsky’s craggy, raw contours, but oh what rewards compensate! Boris Christoff is, very possibly the best exponent of the tortured Tsar since Chaliapin. His portrayal is sonorous, rich and profound, although I do agree that he probably should not have been used for the roles of Pimen and Varlaam. The rest of the cast is fine, but this is, after all, Boris’ opera. As for the recorded sound, it is, admittedly not up to the latest standards, but it is fine for its age. Another critic complained about the harshness of the bells. Personally, I find the peeling of the bells thrilling in this recording, and it seems somewhat perverse to criticise Rimsky’s version for smoothing out Mussorgsy’s rawness, and then carping at that very quality in the sound of the bells. Well, this is, admittedly not the version for everyone, but for me it remains a treasure!

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