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CHAN 10583
    2 Ratings
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CHAN 10583

Rachmaninoff: Aleko

The Classical Shop
release date: April 2010

Originally recorded in 2009


BBC Philharmonic

Gianandrea Noseda

Sergey Murzaev

baritone - Aleko

Gennady Bezzubenkov

bass - Old Gypsy

Nadezhda Vasilieva

mezzo-soprano - Old Gypsy Woman

Svetla Vassileva

soprano - Zemfira

Evgeny Akimov

tenor - Young Gypsy

Coro del Teatro Regio di Torino


Auditorium RAI 'Arturo Toscanini', Turin, Italy


Brian Pidgeon

Mike George


Stephen Rinker

Mike Smith

, Assistant

Record Label



Total Time - 50:47
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  Opera in one act  
  Libretto by Vladimir Ivanovich Nemirovich-Danchenko based on the poem The Gypsies by Alexander Pushkin  
1 1 Introduction - 1:57
2 2 Chorus. Gypsies: 'As dear as freedom is our happy encampment' - 4:03
3 3 The Old Gypsy's Tale. Old Gypsy: 'The magic power of song' - 4:54
  with Gypsies  
4 4 Scene and Chorus. Aleko: 'But why did you not immediately hasten after the thankless wretch' - 1:57
  with Zemfira, Young Gypsy, Old Gypsy, Gypsies  
5 5 Women's Dance - 3:50
6 6 Men's Dance - 4:17
7 7 Chorus. Gypsies: 'The fires have gone out' - 2:25
8 8 Duettino. Young Gypsy: 'Just one more kiss!' - 2:16
  with Zemfira  
9 9 Cradle Scene. Zemfira: ' 'Old man, fearful man...' ' - 3:41
  with Aleko  
10 10 Aleko's Cavatina. Aleko: 'The whole camp sleeps' - 5:41
11 11 Intermezzo - 2:05
12 12 Young Gypsy's Romance. Young Gypsy: 'Look how beneath the distant vault of heaven' - 1:36
13 13 Duet and Finale. Zemfira: 'It's time to go, my love, it's time!' - 4:49
  with Young Gypsy, Aleko  
14 Gypsies: 'What's all this noise? What is that cry?' - 4:07
  with Old Gypsy, Zemfira, Old Gypsy Woman, Aleko  
15 Gypsies: 'We are gentle and kind-hearted' 3:09
  with Old Gypsy, Aleko  

Opera is one of the great musical passions of Gianandrea Noseda, who has explored it to stunning effect with the BBC Philharmonic. In September 2009 he became Music Director at Teatro Regio in Turin, one of Europe’s leading opera houses. Here he presents Aleko, recorded live at the Stresa Festival with the Coro del Teatro Regio di Torino and the BBC Philharmonic. The ‘all-Russian’ cast of soloists are Sergey Murzaev (soloist with the Bolshoy Theatre), Evgeny Akimov and Nadezhda Vasilieva (both soloists with the Mariinsky Theatre Company), Gennady Bezzubenkov and the world-renowned soprano Svetla Vassileva. Chandos has previously released The Miserly Knight and Francesca da Rimini.
Sometimes referred to as Rachmaninoff’s answer to Carmen, Aleko (adapted from The Gypsies by Alexander Pushkin) was written in 1892 as a graduation work at the Moscow Conservatory and won the highest prizes from the judges that year. The rhapsodic Orientalism and effortless melodies in particular appeal. As a companion to his two later operas, Aleko illustrates Rachmaninoff early finding his own individual style.

                Repertoire ***      Sound ****


Gerhard Persche

Fono Forum (Germany) - August 2010

“…its beautiful music and Chandos does it justice.” “…It’s a gorgeous, richly atmospheric performance.”   *****

Graham Strahle

The Australian - 10 July 2010

“The earliest of Rachmaninov’s one-act operas, in the best production to date.”  *****

Steven Ritter

Audiophile Audition - 5 July 2010

“…The focal aria for Aleko, which has long been the staple of the Russian baritone repertoire, is sung here with anguished passion by Sergey Murzaev.
The duet for his errant lover Zemfira (Svetla Vassileva) and her new squeeze, the Young Gypsy (Evgeny Akimov), brims with lyrical ardour, Vassileva hurling out taunts to the spurned Aleko in the vicious aria that follows. Unlike Rachmaninov’s other two completes operas, Aleko is conceived in separate numbers, but Noseda’s skill here is to maintain control of pacing and to keep both tense and fluid.
Turin’s Teatro Regio chorus adeptly assumes its role as a band of Bessarabian gipies and the BBC Philharmonic plays superbly.”  ****

Geoffrey Norris

The Telegraph - 14 May 2010

“Everyone – including the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and the chorus of Turin’s Teatro Regio – gets a chance to bask in the spotlight. But it’s Aleko’s central Cavatine, where he ruminates on his lover’s infidelity, that defines the drama, and Sergey Murzaev seizes his chance, singing with the histrionic grandeur we have come to expect from Russian basses. Svelta Vassileva and Evgeny Akimov are scarcely less vivid as the ill-fated lovers.”
“…it [Aleko] manifestly works on CD, and Noseda can take much of the credit. Having served an early apprenticeship in St Petersburg, he relishes the colour of the music and profiles its fine contours, never resorting to cheap emotionalism.”       ****

Andrew Clark - 8 May 2010

“…Aleko, a student opera about Gypsy love and death, contains the composer’s authentic spirit. A half-hearted performance won’t do at all. Luckily, Noeseda’s no shrinking violet, and this studio recording with the BBC Philharmonic, five impassioned Russian voices, and the choir of Turin’s Teatro Regio pulsates with passion.”   ***

Geoff Brown

The Times - 17 April 2010

Performance ***  Recording ****

John Allison

BBC Music Magazine - May 2010

S Lambert-greaves

B Jackson