Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov
Kresimir Baranovic
Label
Decca
Catalogue No.
4826883
Barcode
00028948268832
Format
2-CD
About

A first release on CD of Mussorgsky’s epic tragedy recorded by the Belgrade National Opera.

With this and six companion issues, Eloquence makes available for the first time on CD the seven complete Russian operas recorded in 1955 by Decca with the company of the Belgrade Opera.

Fresh from a successful tour of ‘Boris Godunov’ in Switzerland the previous year, the Belgrade Opera, in 1955, was keen to make an impression on an international public. At the same time, the Decca company perceived a cost-effective but artistically assured opportunity to expand both its small but rapidly growing stereo catalogue (launched the previous year with Ansermet and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande) and its opera discography with classics of the Russian opera repertoire which it had previously not been possible to record in the original language.

In the event, the stereo versions were held back for the US market and only released in Europe in the 1960s, by which time the Belgrade Opera had acquired an international reputation for excellence thanks both to the mono issues and to its extensive touring schedule which took in all the major European operatic centres. The Boris on their recording was Miroslav Čangalović who became known as a latterday Chaliapin in the part, among the most renowned exponents of his generation. In a ‘house’ version of the opera, incorporating portions of the ‘Polish’ third act in Rimsky-Korsakov’s orchestration, Čangalović was joined by other stalwarts of the company such as Melanija Bugarinović who also won acclaim as Erda at Bayreuth around this time and Žarko Cvejić as a magnificently sonorous and sinister Varlaam.

The booklet for this newly remastered release prints both a synopsis and an essay giving full historical context to the Belgrade opera recordings.

TRACK LISTING / ARTISTS

MODEST MUSSORGSKY
Boris Godunov

Boris Godunov, Miroslav Čangalović
Feodor Borisovich, Sofija Janković
Xenia Borisovna, Zlata Sesardić
Xenia’s Nurse, Milica Miladinović
Prince Vasily Ivanovich Shuisky, Stepan Andrashevich
Andrej Shchelkalov, Dušan Popović
Pimen, Branko Pivnički
Pretender, Miroslav Brajnik
Marina Mnishek, Melanija Bugarinović
Varlaam, Žarko Cvejić
Missail, Stepan Vukicević
Hostess of the inn, Biserka Kalučić
Simpleton, Nikola Jančić
Nikitich, Ilija Gligorijević
Khrushchov, Zhika Milosavliević
Lewicki, Dragomir Ninković
Czernikowski, Ivan Murgaški

Chorus and Orchestra of the National Theatre, Belgrade
Krešimir Baranović

FIRST CD RELEASE ON DECCA

Track previews
Boris Godounov, Act 4 (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Gospodi, Gospodi, vozzri molyu"
Boris Godounov, Act 1 (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Bozhe krepky, pravy"
Boris Godounov, Act 2 (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Kogda-nibud, i skoro mozhet bit.Dostig ya vishei vlasti"
Boris Godounov, Act 2 (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Veliky gosudar!"
Boris Godounov, Act 1 (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Shto zh ti prizadumalsa, tovarisch?"
Boris Godounov, Act 1 (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Kak vo gorodye bylo vo Kazane"
Boris Godounov, Act 1 (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Shto zh ne podtyagivayesh, da i ne potyagivayesh?"
Boris Godounov, Act 1 (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Starsi smiryenniye, inoki chestniye"
Boris Godounov, Act 1 (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Shto ti na menya tak pristalno smotrish"
Boris Godounov, Act 1 (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Yeshcho odno poslyednye skazanye"
Boris Godounov, Act 1 (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Nye syetuy, brat"
Boris Godounov, Act 2 (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Skazochka pro to i pro syo"
Boris Godounov, Act 1 (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Zvonyat k zautreni, Blagoslovi"
Boris Godounov, Act 1 (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Poymala ya siza seleznya"
Boris Godounov, Prologue (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Na kovo ty nas pokidaesh"
Boris Godounov, Prologue (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Mityukh, a Mityukh, chevo oryom?"
Boris Godounov, Prologue (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Nishkni! Vstavaite! Dyak dumni govorit.Pravoslavniye!"
Boris Godounov, Prologue (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Slava tebye"
Boris Godounov, Prologue (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Da zdrastvstvuet tsar Boris Feodorovich!"
Boris Godounov, Prologue (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Skorbit dusha!"
Boris Godounov, Act 2 (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Akhty!.Chevo?"
Boris Godounov, Act 2 (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Kak komar drova rubil"
Boris Godounov, Act 4 (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Zvon! Pogrebal'ny zvon!"
Boris Godounov, Act 4 (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Lyeytes, lyeytes, slyozy gorkiye"
Boris Godounov, Act 4 (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Shto zh, poidyom na golosa, boyare!"
Boris Godounov, Act 4 (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Zhal Shuivskovo nyet knyazya"
Boris Godounov, Act 4 (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Ya sozval vas, boyare"
Boris Godounov, Act 4 (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Smiryenni inok, v delakh mirskikh ne mudri sudiya"
Boris Godounov, Act 4 (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Tsaryevicha skoryei!"
Boris Godounov, Act 4 (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Solntse, luna pomyerknuli"
Boris Godounov, Act 4 (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Domine, Domine salvum fac"
Boris Godounov, Act 4 (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Mi, Dimitri Ivanovich"
Boris Godounov, Act 3 (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Dimitri, tsaryevich, Dimitri!"
Boris Godounov, Act 2 (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Gdye ty, zhenikh moy"
Boris Godounov, Act 3 (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Lish prestol tsaryei moskovskikh"
Boris Godounov, Act 4 (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Vali syuda! Na pyen sadi"
Boris Godounov, Act 4 (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Ne sokol letit po podnyebesyu"
Boris Godounov, Act 4 (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Trrr, trrr, trrr, trrr.Zhelyezny kolpak"
Boris Godounov, Act 2 (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Konyechno, tsar, silna tvoya derzhava"
Boris Godounov, Act 2 (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Ukh! tyazhelo! Day dukh perevedu"
Boris Godounov, Act 3 (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "V polnoch.v sadu.u fontana"
Boris Godounov, Act 3 (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Vashey strasi ya nye vyeryu"
Boris Godounov, Prologue (Arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): "Nu, shtozh vy?"
Recording information

Recording Producer and Balance Engineer: Gerald Severn
Recording Location: National Theatre, Zagreb, Croatia, March–April 1955
Remastering Engineer: Chris Bernauer
Original LP Releases: Decca LXT 5054–56; London LL1236–38
Eloquence Series Producer: Cyrus Meher-Homji

Reviews

‘The outstanding principal is Miro Brajnik, possessor of a fine, ringing tenor. His is the most compelling Dmitri on records.’ High Fidelity

‘The minor characters are well differentiated and well sung. The chorus is splendid and extremely well recorded. The various planes of sound are brilliantly engineered, creating the illusion of distant pilgrims, passing monks, the immediacy of a big crowd and especially the great bells’ clangour. The Revolutionary scene is magnificent choral recording and here Baranović is splendidly vigorous.’