A compromised recording of a neglected work
Julian Grant | London, Beijing, New York | 02/14/1999
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Is there a trade descriptions act when it comes to cuts in an opera performance? The sleeve does state 'Bregenz Festival Edition' - what it does not convey is that more than 50 minutes of the opera is cut - amounting to a third of the score. The last act is literally ripped to shreds - much of the more familiar music from the orchestral suite is missing, this it seems, is because Harry Kupfer, the director of the production disagrees with the visionary ending of this epic, turning a final scene in paradise into the lead characters hallucination. Kitezh is a flawed, epic, probably overlong piece but it deserves better than this textual mauling. Performance is live, much stage noise, committed if not very beautiful performances from Prokina and Galusin. But be warned, this is an abridgement, not the whole work."
Beautiful and fascinating opera well worth having
Mike Wells | Brighton, UK | 05/27/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This got a poor review, but don't be put off. This is a very rare work, but heavily influenced not only by Rimsky's Russian Slavophile philosophy, but also by Wagner. Irritating cuts in 2nd half, but good singing- and you really feel that you are listening in an opera house. The conducting is vivid and there is a sense of occasion. It will make you want the entire opera, but I don't think it is yet available in a modern complete version. It makes you re-evaluate Rimsky and has some wonderful sections."