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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant effort and great recording, politics aside
To speak of Mussorgsky, is to wade into a seething mire of politics....so much of Russian music was shaped, forced and even 'an answer to' political strictures. Some feel that Mussorgsky's music should have been left as the composer himself left it. I regard him as a towering monument of passion and above-all-else, soul. For a while, Mussorgsky was my favourite composer...
Published on 15 Mar 2011 by S Duncan

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4 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Boris by one criminal version
If you yet insist in hear this masterpiece in these criminal "revision" by Korsakow , this is not the the best recording.The singers are good but the conductor think that it is Puccini.But if you want to know Boris in the way the author wrote, you must hear the recordings of Gergiev, Abbado, Fedoseyev , Tchakarow....Hearing this "soft" version you will hear less than the...
Published on 21 Jun 2008 by Osvaldo Colarusso


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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant effort and great recording, politics aside, 15 Mar 2011
By 
S Duncan "sfedlandd" (London) - See all my reviews
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To speak of Mussorgsky, is to wade into a seething mire of politics....so much of Russian music was shaped, forced and even 'an answer to' political strictures. Some feel that Mussorgsky's music should have been left as the composer himself left it. I regard him as a towering monument of passion and above-all-else, soul. For a while, Mussorgsky was my favourite composer and Khovanschina my favourite opera; Boris, a close second.

We debate whether the quality of his operatic compositions was his intended catharsis or if this was somehow incomplete and therefore..... 'unrefined'?? Well, Rimsky-Korsakov could never take credit for Boris. Boris was completed and even revised by Mussorgsky himself before Rimsky-Korsakov touched it. In my view, Rimsky-Korsakov went too far to speak of absurdities in Mussorgsky's harmonic development, etc., and it would have been better to say that he was composing a variation, not a correction. Either way (and that might just be splitting hairs), the work is unquestionably Mussorgsky's intellectual property. I doubt Rimsky-Korsakov would have tried to assert otherwise, though his criticisms of Mussorgsky's technique were ungracious.

THIS recording however, is one I do love and recommend, simply because (politics aside), it is brilliant. Yes, it may lack the rough-hewn feel but frankly, I'm good without that, thank you. For this reason, I've always loved von Karajan. I might add that I generally am not a fan of Gergiev, and his Borises proved no exceptions to my taste. So different tastes prevail here. This recording has many merits, including the singers, orchestra and conductor. Ghiaurov's Boris is a towering monument and a most moving portrayal, invoking memories of the legendary Boris Christoff. Martti Talvela is superb as the old monk....like Parsifal's Gournemantz, he needs to be interesting, and is. As Grogory/Dimitrij, Spiess is in secure, expressive form. This is one of Vishnevskaya's best recordings, for me (along with her Lady Macbeth of Mtsenk). Overall, the cast is superb but special mention to Maslennikov 2 roles: a very idiomatic and well characterised Simpleton and a most DELICIOUUSLY venomous Shiusky!! The chorus is simply awesome, and the 'Uspne!' whispered at Boris' death is the very pinnacle of spectral wonder! It is a recording unlike any other and some may consider it to be 'too western' but if you want an objective reflection of history, perhaps think on this: Rimsky-Korsakov (wrongly or rightly) interfered with Mussorgsky's work, and this was the result. Historic fact. As for THIS recording.....something tells me that Rimsky-Korsakov would have liked it a lot!
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5.0 out of 5 stars How good is this, 11 Feb 2013
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John HOLLAS (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov (MP3 Download)
Boris Godunov is one of my favorite operas. Ghiaurov was a great successor to Christoff. Fortunately, Vishnevskaya is less shouty and squally than she was in later years (as in Britten's War Requiem), and what a treat to hear Talvela in his earlier years. It goes without saying that Karajan's conducting is excellent and that the DG recording is one of the best.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Theatrical Splendour, 1 Jun 2012
Irrespective of the merits of Rimsky's orchestration of Mussorgsky it should be remembered for the spirit in which it was undertaken and it did earn the opera a permanent place in the repertoire. This recording is as much a theatrical experience as any live version that I have encountered. The cast is excellent and the orchestral playing superb and both are enhanced by a conductor well experienced in the opera house and a recording team that knew its business. That said I still get out from time to time my LPs of Bolshoi recording of many years ago featuring George London as Boris and a very good cast. I wouldn't be without either. Then of course there was Rossi Lemeni.............
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9 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Rimsky version, 20 Mar 2008
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Go check out the reviews on the American site for a full ventilation and make your own mind up - suffice to say that this is the best version as orchestrated by by Rimsky.

Never mind all that! If you love opera and/or choral music, you simply cannot do without Modest Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov! Buy it, you'll never regret it!

Don't be put-off by other people not liking this recording or this review - they probably love themselves more than the music!
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4 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Boris by one criminal version, 21 Jun 2008
If you yet insist in hear this masterpiece in these criminal "revision" by Korsakow , this is not the the best recording.The singers are good but the conductor think that it is Puccini.But if you want to know Boris in the way the author wrote, you must hear the recordings of Gergiev, Abbado, Fedoseyev , Tchakarow....Hearing this "soft" version you will hear less than the half of one of the most...
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Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov
Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov by Herbert von Karajan and Nicolai Ghiaurov and Wiener Philharmoniker
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