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CHAN 3007
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CHAN 3007
Opera - Boris Godunov (Highlights)

Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov Highlights

The Classical Shop
release date: April 1998

Originally recorded in 1997


English Northern Philharmonia

Paul Daniel

Edward Thornton

baritone - Mitiukha

Stephen Dawson

baritone - Shchelkalov

John Tomlinson

bass - Boris

Matthew Best

bass - Pimen

Clive Bayley

bass - Varlaam

Susan Parry

mezzo-soprano - Feodor

Yvonne Howard

mezzo-soprano - The Old Nurse

Joan Rodgers

soprano - Xenia

Brian Cookson

tenor - Boyar

Stuart Kale

tenor - Prince Shuisky

Mark Curtis

tenor - Simpleton

Choristers of Leeds Parish Church

Opera North Chorus


Leeds Town Hall


Brian Couzens


Ralph Couzens

Richard Smoker


Ben Connellan


Record Label
Opera In English


Vocal & Song

Opera in English

Total Time - 74:09
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Opera - Boris Godunov (Highlights)



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Boris Godunov Highlights

  (based on the initial version of 1869)  
  Libretto by the composer, based on Pushkin's historical tragedy of the same name and Karamzin's History of the Russian State  
  English translation by David Lloyd-Jones  
  Coronation Scene 8:04      
1 Shuisky: 'Long life to our Tsar Boris Feodorovich!' 4:05
2 Boris: 'My soul is sad' 3:59
  Varlaam's Song  
3 Varlaam: 'By the walls of Kazan the mighty fortress' 2:30
  Apartments Scene 27:59      
4 Xenia: 'Ah, my dear betrothed' 7:26
5 Boris: 'I stand supreme in power' 5:14
6 Boris: 'What is it?' 11:53
7 Boris: 'Ugh! Give me air!' 3:26
  St Basil Scene 11:16      
8 Men: 'What, has the service finished?' 6:12
9 Women: 'Merciful, gracious Tsar' 5:04
  Death Scene 24:20      
10 Boyars: 'Sad, Shuisky is not with us' 6:39
11 Pimen: 'A humble hermit' 7:10
12 Boris: 'Farewell, my son' 10:31

This is the premiere recording in English of Mussorgsky’s epic Boris Godunov (highlights), one of the most spectacular operas ever written.

This recording is part of Chandos’ Opera in English series, made in association with the Peter Moores Foundation. This will be the most comprehensive collection of Opera in English recordings undertaken by a recording company, and a major addition to the record catalogue.

Boris Godunov certainly ranks as one of the finest operas written in the nineteeth century. The combination of drama, melody, spectacle and intimacy never fails to make an impact, which these highlights readily demonstrate. Its greatness lies in the marvellous characterization of all the characters, with Mussorgsky vividly depicting the stark emotions of his main characters against the vast canvas of the Russian people.

The sufferings of the Russian people which troubled the reign of Tsar Boris Godunov, are widely attributed to his murder of the child prince and rightful heir, Dmitry. Boris is haunted by the crime, and the most powerful noble, Prince Shuisky, useds it against him. Disaffected elements rally around Grigory, a pretender to the throne who calls himseld Dmitry and gains credibilty from being the same agae as the murdered prince. After a sensational escape from Russia Grigory/Dmitri rallies Poles and Lithuanians to his cause, including the Jesuit Rangoni who fosters Dimitry’s love for the beautiful Polish aristocrat marina in order to resore Roman Catholicsim to Russia. Even before Boris dies in terrible physical and spiritual agony. Dmitry has the support of Shuisky. As his motley army advances through the forest to Moscow, a Simpleton bewails the fate of the Russian people.


"... A highly compelling disc, made more communicative by being sung n English..."

The Penguin Guide - 1000 Greatest Classical Recordings 2011-12

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