First and foremost it is ALL Mussorgsky's music, NOT the Rimsky Korsakov version and very well played it is. The Polish scene from the second 1872 version has been left out but the Kromy Forest scene included and I found this version to be ideal. Boris is a hard role to sing however good one is as the ghost of the incomparable Boris Christoff looms inescapably and ever large over every performance. The singers in this release are very good indeed, particularly Varlaam who was quite magnificent. His scene on the Lithuanian border was superb. In fact I found the crowd scenes generally exceptional, aided by skillful camera work that brought out many fine individual performances in these minor roles. Although I am an ardent Christoff fan, I did enjoy this performance very much. All the soloists are excellent with no weak links in either singing or acting. My one concern is the lighting: The colours vary from rich natural golds to blue and almost pink tinting, particularly in the opening crowd scenes that I did not care for at all. This is obviously deliberate but I could not see the purpose of it at all. As a consequence my initial impression as the opera started was bad but as it progressed I was drawn into the performance and was able to enjoy the acting, singing and camera work and gradually came to overlook the less than ideal colour.
There is no other release to compete with this disc at the moment and Boris fans should not hesitate.