Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov (Extended Excerpts - In German) - Adam, Schreier, Kuhse; Kegel. Liepzig, 1962

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Using Dmitri Shostakovich’s thrilling orchestration and an effective German translation by Wolfgang Pieschel and Gerhard Schumann, these extended excerpts provide a keenly-focused portrait of Mussorgsky’s sprawling national tragedy. Theo Adam shines as the guilt-ridden Tsar, one of opera’s most Shakespearian anti-heroes. His fall, traced from a commanding address to the crowd to a gibbering death scene, is handled expertly. The supporting cast is mostly unknown to me, though the presence of Peter Schreier as the Holy Fool is a bit of real luxury casting. The only scenes missing from the opera are the Act I Inn sequence and the second half of the Polish Act. The latter is a shame, since both Hannelore Kuhse’s petulant Marina and Rolf Apreck’s Dimitri are very good. The sound of this radio broadcast is uniformly excellent.

OD 11265-2

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