This is the premiere recording in English of Mussorgsky’s epic Boris Godunov (highlights), one of the most spectacular operas ever written.
This recording is part of Chandos’ Opera in English series, made in association with the Peter Moores Foundation. This will be the most comprehensive collection of Opera in English recordings undertaken by a recording company, and a major addition to the record catalogue.
Boris Godunov certainly ranks as one of the finest operas written in the nineteeth century. The combination of drama, melody, spectacle and intimacy never fails to make an impact, which these highlights readily demonstrate. Its greatness lies in the marvellous characterization of all the characters, with Mussorgsky vividly depicting the stark emotions of his main characters against the vast canvas of the Russian people.
The sufferings of the Russian people which troubled the reign of Tsar Boris Godunov, are widely attributed to his murder of the child prince and rightful heir, Dmitry. Boris is haunted by the crime, and the most powerful noble, Prince Shuisky, useds it against him. Disaffected elements rally around Grigory, a pretender to the throne who calls himseld Dmitry and gains credibilty from being the same agae as the murdered prince. After a sensational escape from Russia Grigory/Dmitri rallies Poles and Lithuanians to his cause, including the Jesuit Rangoni who fosters Dimitry’s love for the beautiful Polish aristocrat marina in order to resore Roman Catholicsim to Russia. Even before Boris dies in terrible physical and spiritual agony. Dmitry has the support of Shuisky. As his motley army advances through the forest to Moscow, a Simpleton bewails the fate of the Russian people.