Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Modest Mussorgsky, Michael Dussek|
Russian Vocal Masterpieces: Mussorgsky & Rimsky-Korsakov songs
Genres: Pop, Classical
Listen to Samples
S.R.Fisher | Bradford-on-Avon, UK | 04/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In view of the enduring popularity of Rimsky-Korsakov's Sheherezade and Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov and Pictures at an Exhibition, it is perhaps surprising that so little attention is paid in the west to their other compositions. In particular, Rimsky-Korsakov's songs are rarely heard. Maybe performers have underrated them, or to be more charitable, not trusted themselves to do the songs justice; these works certainly require the depth of tone and power of a Russian voice to be most effective.Now, however, the public need no longer be deprived of such gems as Rimsky-Korsakov's settings of Pushkin's "The banks of clouds begin to scatter" and "On the hills of Georgia" or Mussorgsky's setting of "The leaves rustled sorrowfully" by Plescheyev. With this disc, Vassily Savenko and Michael Dussek have not only opened up a neglected area of the song repertory but have done so with impeccable performances that must come as close to being definitive as any performance can be. Savenko has just the right voice for these songs, with a dark, brooding tone perfectly suited to the melancholy longing of many of the Pushkin poems, but delivering such overwhelming power in "The Prophet" that the listener almost quakes with awe - surely the effect that Pushkin desired! (I have heard Savenko perform this song twice in public accompanied by Boris Beresovsky, and each time it was an electrifying experience). Probably the best-known work on the disk - my guess is that it is the only one many listeners will have heard before - is Mussorgsky's setting of Mephistopheles's "Song of the Flea" from Goethe's Faust, sung here in Russian. Savenko delivers this with none of the prissiness that some performers convey but with the devilish savagery and timing that the words demand.For anybody wishing to become acquainted with Russian 19th century vocal music, or indeed anybody who wants to hear top-class singing, this disc is a must. Vassily Savenko is clearly one of the most remarkable bass-baritones of our time. When are we to hear more from him?"