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Thread: Top 10 of Russian operas

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    Default Top 10 of Russian operas

    What are our favorite ten Russian operas?.

    Let's understand by "Russian" operas written by a Russian composer, even if they are sung in languages other than Russian.

    Those are mine:

    Eugene Onegin (Tchaikovsky)
    Dead Souls (Shchedrin)
    The Rake's Progress (Stravinski)
    Judith (Serov)
    War and Peace (Prokofiev)
    The Passenger (Weinberg)
    Ruslan and Ludmila (Glinka)
    Lady Macbeth (Shostakovich)
    Oresteia (Taneyev)
    Boris Godunov (Mussorgsky)

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    Senior Member HumphreyAppleby's Avatar
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    I love May Night by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Sure, it isn't ground breaking, but it's beautiful and fun. It also has one of the most beautiful tenor arias ever.

    The rare tenor Konstantin Lisovsky does pretty well with it (though he could use more dynamic):


    I also like what I've heard of Rimsky-Korsakov's Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh. But I haven't been able to find a good complete recording.


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    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Tchaikovsky Eugene Onegin
    Tchaikovsky Pique Dame
    Tchaikovsky Mazeppa
    Mussorgsky Boris Godunov
    Shostakovich Lady Macbeth
    Stravinsky The Rake’s Progress
    Rimsky-Korsakov Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh
    Rimsky-Korsakov Tsar’s Bride
    Prokofiev War and Peace
    Prokofiev Semyon Kotko
    Prokofiev The Fiery Angel
    Last edited by mamascarlatti; Aug-19-2013 at 23:10.
    Natalie

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    Senior Member TxllxT's Avatar
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    Prokofiev Semyon Kotko
    Tchaikovsky Pique Dame
    Mussorgsky Boris Godunov
    Prokofiev Betrothal at a Monastery
    Prokofiev War & Peace
    Tchaikovsky Eugene Onegin
    Mussorgsky Khovanshchina
    Tchaikovsky Mazeppa
    Prokofiev The Story of a Real Man
    Shostakovich Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk

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    Senior Member quack's Avatar
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    I can't add much to what has been already said but to bemoan how little Russian opera I have heard. The opera corpus can sometimes seem a bit narrow with the same few composers and works recorded but it seems especially narrow when it comes to the Russians. Or at least the recordings aren't readily available outside Russia. So many i'd like to hear such as Shchedrin's Dead Souls or Lolita and Weinberg's 7 operas.

    Ok so i'll stop complaining about stuff I haven't heard and put a good word in for Rachmaninov's operas which I think are greatly under-appreciated.

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    Senior Member Itullian's Avatar
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    1-10
    Boris Godunov

    Its the only Russian opera I can listen to without my eyes glazing over.
    When all else fails, listen to Thick as a Brick.

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    Quote Originally Posted by quack View Post
    I can't add much to what has been already said but to bemoan how little Russian opera I have heard. The opera corpus can sometimes seem a bit narrow with the same few composers and works recorded but it seems especially narrow when it comes to the Russians. Or at least the recordings aren't readily available outside Russia. So many i'd like to hear such as Shchedrin's Dead Souls or Lolita and Weinberg's 7 operas.

    Ok so i'll stop complaining about stuff I haven't heard and put a good word in for Rachmaninov's operas which I think are greatly under-appreciated.
    There is a good recording of Dead Souls that can be heard also, at least most of it, in youtube. Also, the very nice Boyarina Morozova has been released in a (splendid) CD.

    I think the DVD of Weinberg's The Passenger is great, too.

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    Senior Member quack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schigolch View Post
    I think the DVD of Weinberg's The Passenger is great, too.
    I saw The Passenger DVD but didn't like it much, despite liking most of Weinberg's music. I think it had too much declaiming for my liking and not enough singing. I suppose that is to be expected from the subject matter and it is a subject that does interest me but I couldn't really appreciate it.

    Impressive to see Dead Souls on youtube, listening now. His Enchanted Warrior released on the Mariinsky label is definitely worth hearing too.

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    Senior Member Cavaradossi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quack View Post
    I can't add much to what has been already said but to bemoan how little Russian opera I have heard. The opera corpus can sometimes seem a bit narrow with the same few composers and works recorded but it seems especially narrow when it comes to the Russians. Or at least the recordings aren't readily available outside Russia. So many i'd like to hear such as Shchedrin's Dead Souls or Lolita and Weinberg's 7 operas.

    Ok so i'll stop complaining about stuff I haven't heard and put a good word in for Rachmaninov's operas which I think are greatly under-appreciated.
    I haven't seen much to speak of either: Onegin, Queen of Spades, Boris, and if you count it, Shostakovich's jaunty, tuneful Moscow Cheryomushki. Would love to see the works of Rimsky-Korsakov, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev.

    I'll be seeing this new Russian work this weekend. We'll see if it merits a top 10 spot:
    Last edited by Cavaradossi; Aug-20-2013 at 21:48.

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    Senior Member Bardamu's Avatar
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    I'm not yet at 10 :-P
    but here are my favorite:

    1) Boris Godunov (Both Rimsky-Korsakov and Musorgskij versions)
    2) The legend of the invisible city of Kitezh and the maiden Fevronia
    3) Eugene Onegin
    4) Yolanta
    5) Tzar's bride

    First three are in a league on their own IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by HumphreyAppleby View Post
    I also like what I've heard of Rimsky-Korsakov's Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh. But I haven't been able to find a good complete recording.
    Last edited by Bardamu; Aug-20-2013 at 23:26.

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    Although Pique Dame is perhaps Tchaikovsky's second more staged opera after Onegin, I personally prefer Iolanta and, mainly, this The Maid of Orleans, that we can watch complete in youtube:


    Last edited by schigolch; Aug-21-2013 at 00:38.

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    Quote Originally Posted by schigolch View Post
    What are our favorite ten Russian operas?.

    Let's understand by "Russian" operas written by a Russian composer, even if they are sung in languages other than Russian.

    Those are mine:

    Eugene Onegin (Tchaikovsky)
    Dead Souls (Shchedrin)
    The Rake's Progress (Stravinski)
    Judith (Serov)
    War and Peace (Prokofiev)
    The Passenger (Weinberg)
    Ruslan and Ludmila (Glinka)
    Lady Macbeth (Shostakovich)
    Oresteia (Taneyev)
    Boris Godunov (Mussorgsky)
    I only know a few of these (Onegin, Rake's Progress, Boris), but I just finished a post under the "Off the beaten path operas" thread about a new production of Oresteia that I saw in July. I was caught off-guard by how beautiful it is. Just gorgeous. It was a very good production that is headed to the Mariinsky that benefited from a particularly strong Orestes, which seems to be key to the opera's success. The one or two recordings that were done, if still in print, are not available in the U.S.

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    It's complete in youtube:


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6gnEAtsUIs

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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    I know it was completed by others but I'm surprised Borodin's Prince Igor has been left out up until now.

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    Moderator mamascarlatti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elgars ghost View Post
    I know it was completed by others but I'm surprised Borodin's Prince Igor has been left out up until now.
    Well, you've got to choose if you are confined to ten. I've also had to leave out Love for three oranges, Betrothal in a monastery, Le Coq D'Or, Iolanta, May Night, Sadko, a Life for the Tsar, and The Nose
    Natalie

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