Listen to a Sample:
This stirringly authentic performance from 1960 finds the Kirov opera company in thrilling form. The use of Dmitri Shostakovitch's orchestrations of Mussorgsky's greatest opera gives a vitality and freshness to the opera, and the closely-miked radio sound is impeccable. Sergei Yeltsin gives a cerebral, probing reading of the opera, at home equally in the pensive air of Pimen's cell and the raucous stench of the inn scene. Boris Shtokolov gives a magnificent performance as the tortured Tsar, culminating in a holds-no-barriers take on the mad scene. Highlights in the supporting cast include Rima Barinova's alluring Marina, Lavretiya Yaroshenko's hilariously thick Varlaam and a piercing False Dmitri from Vsevolod Puchkov.