Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Scenes & Arias From the Opera Eugene Onegin
Listen to Samples
Highlights from complete recording available on D'Oro
Rosomax | Boulder, CO United States | 01/06/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD is highlights from a complete opera originally recorded by Melodiya. Somehow the 60s Melodia recording (once available for a short time through now-perished Legato Classics) is obtained by Opera D'Oro. So, while D'Oro has the whole thing, this is a pretty good selection of arias & duets from it. This is not a live recording (as most of this company's budget price releases). It is a good studio recording remastered, sounding surprisingly balanced and clear. It boasts the greatest singers of the Bolshoi Theatre: Galina Vishnevskaya, Sergei Lemeshev, Evgeny Belov (in title role), Larissa Avdeyeva, and Ivan Petrov. Boris Khaikin who, at the time, was seconded only by Alexander Melik-Pashayev leads one of the best orchestras in the world. Galina Vishnevskaya, well known for her splendid accounts of taxing works of Shostakovich and Prokofiev, is the best Tatiana one could imagine. The composer himself would admit that this is the voice he was looking for when he created his favorite heroine. Incredibly expressive and powerful, yet subtle and vulnerable at the same time. Exquisite phrasing that could not even be lost on non-Russian speaking audience; listen to the naiveté of the letter scene versus the flood of emotions covered with coldness in Act III. She is head and shoulders above the rest of the cast, which is still first-rate. Belov's relatively high tessitura brings out the cruelty of the character, particularly during the ball scene where he heartlessly wounds Lenski's poetic heart. Even though Dmitri Hvorostovsky is the best reigning Onegin with his dark, honeyed baritone, Belov's account is interesting and appropriate. Lemeshev was one of the most sophisticated singers of his time, and this says a lot. While I personally prefer tenors with stronger low registers, Lemeshev's voice appears perfect for the part of dreamy, romantic, and highly vulnerable poet. Avdeyeva is idiomatic flirtatious Olga, and Petrov's deep smooth bass is an ideal choice for aged yet passionate and devoted Prince Gremin. Given the budget price, it has no translations. I wished for a nice (even if pricey) edition complete with information about these great artists. Don't let it stop you from immediately obtaining it though. An absolute must have before it disappears again, or choose a D'Oro release of the complete opera for about the same price."