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Mikhail Ivanovitch Glinka: Ivan Susanin (A LIFE FOR THE TSAR)
Mikhail Glinka, Alexander Melik-Pashaev, Bolshoi Theater Orchestra
Mikhail Ivanovitch Glinka: Ivan Susanin (A LIFE FOR THE TSAR)
Genre: Classical
 

      
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CD Reviews

Finaly!
10/18/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This recording of Ivan Susanin (better known in the west as "Life for the tsar") must be owned by all people, who are interested in Russian music. For us, the Russians, Susanin is as important as Rigoletto to the Italians, and the "Ring" to the Germans. This recording uses the libretto by Sergey Gorodetskiy, it is more focused on Mother-Russia, then on the Tsar. The only possible minus is the poor sound. Maxim Mikhailov, one of the richest (and lowest) basses of his generation is a wonderfull Susanin. His voice seems to be made for this role. He easily sings all the low notes (and there are many). He manages to sing a low F, and still sound louder then the whole orchestra. Natalya Shpiller is good, but to my personal taste, her voice is a little to sweet. Georgiy Nellep is an outstanding Sobinin. His powerfull dramatic tenor is equal in all registers, and he has an exciting ring not just on top, but even in his low notes. Antonova has a good low mezzo which is perfect for the role of Vanya. The small role of the Polish King (sometimes just the head of the Polish detachment) is sung by bass Feodor Svetlanov, the father of Evgheniy Svetlanov, one of the best Russian conductors. Melik-Pashayev does not allow the orchestra to rest. The tempos are all quite fast. After the few years when the only available choice of this opera in Europe and North America was between two Bolgarian versions, this recording is the first truly "Russian" one."
The first Russian Opera
moskvich | Moscow | 01/29/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Ivan Susanin is not known in the west, and it is unfortunate. Without knowing "Life for the Tsar" it is impossible to fully understand the works of Mussorgsky and Rimskiy-Korsakov. In this recording, the sound is not first class, but the master of the Bolshoi orchestra Aleksandr Melik-Pashayev is conducting wonderfully. Mikhailov is great. His voice is warm and large. Nelepp has a rare dramatic tenor, with a ring at the top, equal to Del Monaco or Corelli. Shpiller has a full liric soprano, and her Antonida is better then most sopranos I have heard. The only serious cut is the epilogue "SLAV'SIA". Melik-Pashayev's tempos are faster then most conductors tend to use in this opera."
`Wonderful Russian Bel Canto
Trebor Nodgarb | New Hampshire | 01/19/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I had heard many excerpts from Ivan Susanin. This made me more than a little interested in the opera. The only disappointment was the cut of the Epilogue. The singing was wonderful without exception. The sound considering the era was really pretty good.I think this is a must for anyone interested in historical recordings from Russia/Soviet Union."