Tchaikovsky: Complete Operas, Fragments & Incident

Album cover art for upc 881488170535
Label: PROFIL
Catalog: PH17053
Format: CD

USSR Radio Symphony Chorus; Shpiller, Natalya; USSR State Radio Symphony Orchestra; Ionov, Ivan; Kirov Opera Chorus; Moscow Radio Chorus; Levina, Maria; Kirov Opera Orchestra; Khaykin, Boris; Milashkina, Tamara; Moscow Radio Opera Chorus; Moscow Radio Opera Orchestra; Pontryagin, Pavel; Stavrovskaya, Lubov; Zlatogorova, Bronislava; Grikurov, Edouard; Runovsky, Nikolay; Kiselev, Mikhail; Abramov, Georgi; USSR Radio Symphony Orchestra; Kirov Orchestra; Tarkhov, Dmitri; Peregudov, Alexander; Moscow Choral Acad

This extensive release features all of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s opera recordings live from the Bolshoi Theater. Made between 1936 and 1963, these recordings showcase not only one of the finest venues in the world, but one of the world’s finest composers. Tchaikovsky wrote his first opera, The Voyevoda, in 1867. After a disastrous premiere, the self-critical composer burnt the entire manuscript of the work. Luckily, most of the score has been reconstructed from the individual parts. It is included in the first portion of this release for modern listeners to make up their own minds about the music. Luckily, his feelings about his first opera didn’t stop him from pursuing more within the genre. As a composer of opera, Tchaikovsky could seek inspiration in centuries of operatic tradition in Western Europe, but the history of the opera in Russia had only just begun a few years before he was born. While Tchaikovsky welcomed the ideas of Western Europe, he faced rivalry from “The Mighty Handful” of nationalist Russian composers. Despite a rocky first few operas, Tchaikovsky went on to find later success as he walked a middle-road between operatic tradition and Russian nationalism. While his operas never found the success that his ballets did, this release proves that they are the works of a brilliant mind.

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