Beethoven: Fidelio (In Russian) - Vishnevskaya, Nelepp, Ivanov, Shchegolkov; Melik-Pashayev. Bolshoi, 1957
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Despite being in Russian, this is actually an excellent performance. I was initially drawn to it for the Leonore of Galina Vishnevskaya and, indeed, she does not disappoint combining Mozartian smoothness with the ability to switch her voice into overdrive when it calls for it. I was surprised that the rest of the cast was also very good including the Florestan and the Marzellina. What is more, it is superbly conducted by Melik-Pashayev. The overture almost explodes with exuberance. The sound is very good.