Composer: Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky
Orchestra: Boston Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Seiji Ozawa
SPARS Code: DDD
Number of Discs: 3
Format: FLAC (image+cue)
Size: 677 MB
Herman – Vladimir Atlantov
Lisa – Mirella Freni
Count Tomsky – Sergei Leiferkus
The Countess – Maureen Forrester
Prince Yeletsky – Dmitri Hvorostovsky
Pauline – Katherine Ciesinski
Masha – Dominique Labelle
The Governess – Janis Taylor
Chekalinsky – Ernesto Gavazzi
Surin – Julian Rodescu
Major-Domo – Richard Clement
Chaplitsky – Dennis Petersen
Narumov – Jorje Chamine
This is a pretty good recording of one of Tschaikovsky’s greatest masterpieces. Freni is my favorite soprano and I love her singing always. She would have been just a tad bit better a few years earlier but still, she sings like a goddess with good word-pointing, which is amazing as this opera is in Russian. Luckily her husband speaks Russian and has helped her immensely with her Tschaikovsky essays (Evgeny Onegin and Joan of Arc). I’m very much looking forward to hearing her sing this last role in D.C. in 2005.
Many nice performances in this work, Hvorostovsky (melting in his Act II aria) and Leiferkus (extra pointed and thrilling in his Act I aria).
Katherine Ciesinski sings a nice Pauline and she and Mirella Freni are a little wobbly in their duet together though the result is still memorable.
Atlantov is rather rough in his role of Gherman. He sang better on the older Philips recording opposite Milashkina. He is certainly characterful and sounds desperate…..but also vocally. It’s all very dramatic and in that regard, satisfyling. However, this is a killer role and any tenor singing this role throughout their carrer will certainly feel it’s effects. One can look to soprano roles with similar effects: Turandot and Gioconda to name only two.
Ozawa does a nice job creating drama, but other conducters perform better, such as: Ermler, Rostropivich and Gergiev.
All in all, a good recording, though my favorite is the Gergiev/Grigorian/Guleghina recording on Philips