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on 18 July 2017
I cannot understand how Amazon dares to sell such completely ruined set fixed with numerous plastic stripes which dissolve when you open the package. Also, Amazon could have replaced this set by functioning plastic set. The musical side is quite good.
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on 7 March 2010
Yes, an electric performance all round. Excellent cast. If the opera doesn't seem quite so personally involving for the listener as, say, the operas of Verdi, it is good theatre and a recording not to be missed. Sound is first-class.
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At Brilliant's prices it would be crazy to complain even if this performance were only adequate, but as it is, it is in fact in many ways very good, especially in terms of the sound and the brilliance of the Sofia forces under Tchakarov's energised direction. Both chorus and orchestra are really impressive, singing and playing with huge verve and enthusiasm; the Polovtsian set pieces are very idiomatic: lilting and invigorating by turns.

By and large we have here a number of star voices, some of whom are, to put it kindly, in their later flowering but are still artists of note. Amongst these are veteran Bulgarian basses Ghiuselev and Ghiaurov, both a bit rough, rusty and unsteady of tone but also powerful and characterful as Galitsky and Khan Konchak respectively. Rather more elegant singing is provided by the smoothly authoritative bass-baritone Boris Martinovich, who also collaborated with Tchakarov in an excellent "Life for the Tsar" and as Rangoni in "Boris Godunov". It is possible to carp about some of the throatier comprimario tenor roles here and even lead tenor Kaludi Kaludov is at times a bit breathy and hoarse but he sings in very committed, convincing manner. The power of Stefka Evstatieva's soprano is occasionally compromised by the typical "Slavonic steam-whistle" effect she produces at forte but she is a compelling vocal actress. Alexandrina Milcheva is perfectly acceptable as Konchakovna and she has a serviceable lower register but her voice does not have the velvety, sensual power of such as Obratsova in what is, in my estimation, an unjustly neglected recording conducted by Mark Ermler. Some of the best singing may be heard in the stirring Third Act Trio for Konchakovna, Igoryevich and Prince Igor and also the touching aria for Yaroslavna which follows that, feelingly sung by Evstatieva with some pointed use of smoothly controlled dynamics.

This does not shake my preference for the Ermler recording but I readily concede that this one is both subtler and much more affordable than that red-blooded version. It has no libretto, only an excessively condensed synopsis.
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on 7 May 2014
Lush romantic music famous for the Polotsovian Dance part but it actually deserves much better than to just be constantly part of compilations because of that. A great modern opera and a good recording.
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on 20 May 2016
Borodin was, as a composer, a bit of a part-timer (and with good reason, as he was also a professor of chemistry and of medicine). As with many of his larger-scale works, it had to be completed by his friends. The overture is well-known, and the Polovtsian Dances even more so.
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on 2 September 2015
It was very interesting to read about this Opera and on hearing it I was very surprised and the amount wonderful singing and orchestration that this opera produced very enjoyable.
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on 6 December 2014
Borodin's Prince Igor is a set-number opera. He turned away from the through-composed, arioso style opera that was emerging in Russia at the time with works by Dargomizhsky and Mussorgsky, instead preferred separate arias and ensembles. This, however, does not take away from the fact that this opera is a great, absorbing work for the theatre.

Before continuing, I has to say I purchased a secondhand original Sony release from 1991, however, given the fact that the Brilliant Classics re-release is now only available, I'll mention the differences in packaging which for the latter there's no printed libretto and no essays, though sound transfer is exactly the same.

Please do not let this deter you from purchasing the perfectly serviceable Brilliant Classics re-release if you can't find a decent copy of the original Sony.

The performance is nothing short of amazing, I believe another reviewer stated "electrifying". I quite agree. The talented, and largely unknown and underrated, conductor Emil Tchakarov directs with passion with the perfect blend of Slavic sense of imagery and lyricism. I must insist that everyone get a copy of him conducting Glinka's "A Life for the Tsar", both Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov and Khovanshchina, and Tchaikovsky's Pique Dame. Amazing!!!!!!! Underrated!!!!!! For the Mussorgsky his pacing, crowd scenes with the incomparable Sofia Opera Chorus, and Nikolai Ghiaurov in the most menacing and noble voice of this later years is a MUST! I have heard the Gergiev Kirov recordings, and while the younger generation (from the 90's) of native Russian singers perform admirably I have always turned back to Ghiaurov's performances. The Tchaikovsky also is a perfect, Tchakarov draws you into the psychological drama, as does Gergiev for this one. The Glinka, try and find the original Sony. Brilliant Classics have re-released the old Capriccio recording with a very laboured, however well rounded her voice may be, Antonida (just listen to her first cavatina and compare with Alex Penda's, as she's known now, portrayal. The older EMI Markovitch recording still has its merits though is severely cut.

Back to this Prince Igor...I actually prefer Evstatieva's singing to Gorchakova for Gergiev. I find the latter's voice not ripe enough, as if she shadows the voice towards the back of the mouth, whereas Evstatieva's is brighter and forthright. Unfortunately, Miltcheva is a tad underpowered and bland compared to Gergiev's Olga Borodina. As for the men, Martinovich should have become better known in the West. His authoritative, focused bass is fantastic......and as mentioned before, Ghiaurov is phenomenal!!! The chorus superb in the crowd scenes, especially in the famous Polovtsian Dances that close the 2nd Act. A small point, this recording restores the original order of acts. Gergiev reverses the 1st and 2nd Acts so straight after the Prologue we have the dances. For me it makes it anticlimatic and does not follow traditional 19th Century operatic structure.

So in short, if you're yet to become acquainted with Russian opera and the two Mussorgsky operas are a bit heavy for you I urge you to try this Price Igor (Gergiev is deleted for now). A solid 5 stars!!!
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on 21 October 2016
Excellent - really helped my wife learn the opera
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on 23 November 2016
Wonderful recording
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