Verdi: Falstaff (In Russian) - Nechipailo, Vishnevskaya, Arkhipova; Melik-Pashayev. Moscow, 1955

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Opera’s greatest comedy is far from lost in translation in this terrific performance from the Bolshoi Theatre. Under the baton of Alexander Melik-Pashayev, Verdi’s orchestra acquires an extra dimension of plush luxuriousness. Thundering brass and roaring woodwinds add real grandeur to Falstaff’s glory-in-his-own-mind splendiferousness, and the witching scene is rendered in shimmering, bewitching airiness. The cast is strong, led by Viktor Nechipailo’s booming Sir John and Galina Vishnevskaya’s witty, pert Alice. Listen for Irina Arkhipova (soon to become a major star with the Bolshoi) in the small role of Meg.

OD 11327-2

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