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Cat. No. CHAN 10583 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 10583 - Rachmaninoff: Aleko
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Available From: 01 April 2010
Rachmaninoff: Aleko

Opera is one of the great musical passions of Gianandrea Noseda, who has explored it to stunning effect with the BBC Philharmonic. In September 2009 he became Music Director at Teatro Regio in Turin, one of Europe’s leading opera houses. Here he presents Aleko, recorded live at the Stresa Festival with the Coro del Teatro Regio di Torino and the BBC Philharmonic. The ‘all-Russian’ cast of soloists are Sergey Murzaev (soloist with the Bolshoy Theatre), Evgeny Akimov and Nadezhda Vasilieva (both soloists with the Mariinsky Theatre Company), Gennady Bezzubenkov and the world-renowned soprano Svetla Vassileva. Chandos has previously released The Miserly Knight and Francesca da Rimini.
Sometimes referred to as Rachmaninoff’s answer to Carmen, Aleko (adapted from The Gypsies by Alexander Pushkin) was written in 1892 as a graduation work at the Moscow Conservatory and won the highest prizes from the judges that year. The rhapsodic Orientalism and effortless melodies in particular appeal. As a companion to his two later operas, Aleko illustrates Rachmaninoff early finding his own individual style.


                Repertoire ***      Sound ****
Gerhard Persche

Fono Forum (Germany) - August 2010

“…its beautiful music and Chandos does it justice.” “…It’s a gorgeous, richly atmospheric performance.”   *****
Graham Strahle

The Australian - 10 July 2010

“The earliest of Rachmaninov’s one-act operas, in the best production to date.”  *****
Steven Ritter

Audiophile Audition - 5 July 2010

“…The focal aria for Aleko, which has long been the staple of the Russian baritone repertoire, is sung here with anguished passion by Sergey Murzaev.
The duet for his errant lover Zemfira (Svetla Vassileva) and her new squeeze, the Young Gypsy (Evgeny Akimov), brims with lyrical ardour, Vassileva hurling out taunts to the spurned Aleko in the vicious aria that follows. Unlike Rachmaninov’s other two completes operas, Aleko is conceived in separate numbers, but Noseda’s skill here is to maintain control of pacing and to keep both tense and fluid.
Turin’s Teatro Regio chorus adeptly assumes its role as a band of Bessarabian gipies and the BBC Philharmonic plays superbly.”  ****
Geoffrey Norris

The Telegraph - 14 May 2010

“Everyone – including the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and the chorus of Turin’s Teatro Regio – gets a chance to bask in the spotlight. But it’s Aleko’s central Cavatine, where he ruminates on his lover’s infidelity, that defines the drama, and Sergey Murzaev seizes his chance, singing with the histrionic grandeur we have come to expect from Russian basses. Svelta Vassileva and Evgeny Akimov are scarcely less vivid as the ill-fated lovers.”
“…it [Aleko] manifestly works on CD, and Noseda can take much of the credit. Having served an early apprenticeship in St Petersburg, he relishes the colour of the music and profiles its fine contours, never resorting to cheap emotionalism.”       ****
Andrew Clark

FT.com - 8 May 2010

“…Aleko, a student opera about Gypsy love and death, contains the composer’s authentic spirit. A half-hearted performance won’t do at all. Luckily, Noeseda’s no shrinking violet, and this studio recording with the BBC Philharmonic, five impassioned Russian voices, and the choir of Turin’s Teatro Regio pulsates with passion.”   ***
Geoff Brown

The Times - 17 April 2010

Performance ***  Recording ****
John Allison

BBC Music Magazine - May 2010


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