Verdi: Aida (in Russian) - Vishnevsksya, Anzhaparidze, Arkhipova; Melik-Pashaev. Moscow, 1961
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Aida heard in Russian is surprisingly effective. The conducting is remarkably supple, and Alexander Melik Pashaev ensures the triumphal march is truly triumphant. The same can be said of Galina Vishnevskaya in the title role, who lofts ”O patria mia” with a heart stopping pianissimo. Irina Arkhipova is a sneering, plummy Amneris, and if the men are generally weaker (especially the baritone) the conducting, the women and the mania of the choral scenes are enough to make up for it.