Shostakovich: Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (In Italian) - Borkh, Gibin, Ratti, Zaccaria, Di Palma; Sanzogno. Milano, 1964
Listen to a Sample:
This opera is fast becoming one of my favorites. Unfortunately Joseph Stalin was not as taken with it as I am and went so far as to openly threaten Shostakovich in Pravda shortly after its premiere. Shostakovich never wrote another opera after that. This performance comes from Milan in 1964 and is sung in Italian. Inge Borkh is Katerina Ismailova. Borkh's voice was made for this role and I can only imagine how her striking good looks would have enhanced any stage picture. It is fascinating to listen as she morphs from a listless housewife to a murderess and then ultimately an empty shell of a human being in the final scene. Surprisingly her Italian is actually quite idiomatic. The sound is good.