Tchaikovsky: The Oprichnik

Composer Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Artist Vassily Savenko Prince Zhemchuznïy
Elena Lassoskaya Natalya
Vladimir Ognovenko Prince Vyazminsky
Vsevolod Grivnov Andrey Morozov
Orchestra e Coro del Teatro Lirico di Cagliari
Gennady Rozhdestvensky conductor
Format 3 CD
Cat. number 94390
EAN code 5028421943909
Release September 2012

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About this release

This live recording of one of Tchaikovsky’s least-known operas derives from a live production of a staging by Graham Vick in Cagliari, Sardinia. It features the always quirky musicianship of Gennady Rozhdestvensky, whose musical appetite for the curio and the unfamiliar is apparently insatiable. He conducts a cast of real Russian singers, most of them stalwarts at the Bolshoi, with voices that come from the long tradition of Lisitsian, Chaliapin and Vishnevskaya, including the rich mezzo of Irina Dolzhenko and imposing bass of Vsevolod Grivnov.
The opera itself tells the tale of Andrey, who joins the eponymous oprichnik (the tsar’s mercenary retinue, set up to assert his power against the boyars) in order to pursue or defend a family feud. Crossed lovers and curses ensue; the end is inevitably tragic, with not only Andrey coming to a sticky end but also his widowed mother.
As his first surviving completed opera, first performed in 1876,The Oprichnik is full of tell-tale signs of the great dramatic composer which Tchaikovsky would become in Eugene Onegin and The Queen of Spades.

Other information:
- An atmospheric live recording (2003) of Tchaikovsky’s opera The Oprichnik, with wonderful, full blooded Russian voices, and the inimitable Gennady Rozhdestvensky conducting.
- Hardly any competition for this release, a must for the opera aficionado and Tchaikovsky fan!
- Tchaikovsky wrote the libretto for the opera himself, set in the 16th Century, the tumultuous period in Russian history of Ivan the Terrible.
- Extensive synopsis included in the booklet.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. The Oprichnik Introduction (Orchestra)
  2. The Oprichnik: Act 1: Come in, do us the honour (Zhemchuznïy/Molchan)
  3. The Oprichnik: Act 1: A duckling was swimming in the sea (Chorus of Girls)
  4. The Oprichnik: Act 1: How wearisome it is to spend the whole day (Natalya/Zakharyevna/Chorus of Girls)
  5. The Oprichnik: Act 1: A nightingale chirps on leafy fronds (Natalya)
  6. The Oprichnik: Act 1: See here if one should get sad over such a song! (Zakharyevna/Chorus of Girls/Natalya)
  7. The Oprichnik: Act 1: Don’t worry, dear Andrey, step forward (Basmanov/Andrey/Chorus of Oprichniks)
  8. The Oprichnik: Act 1: Tell me, have you taken a decision? (Basmanov/Andrey)
  9. The Oprichnik: Act 1: No, my friend (Andrey/Basmanov)
  10. The Oprichnik: Act 1: I thought I heard some voices (Natalya)
  11. The Oprichnik: Act 1: Here you are then! (Zakharyevna/Chorus of Girls)
  12. The Oprichnik: Act 2: First Tableau: Introduction (Orchestra)
  13. The Oprichnik: Act 2: First Tableau: Much as one tries, life never changes (Morozova)
  14. The Oprichnik: Act 2: First Tableau: No more worries, mother, let the wind disperse your troubles (Andrey/Morozova)
  15. The Oprichnik: Act 2: First Tableau: But you, son, keep purer than the snow (Morozova/Andrey)
  16. The Oprichnik: Act 2: First Tableau: Basmanov likes wine and pleasures (Andrey/Morozova)
  17. The Oprichnik: Act 2: First Tableau: Dear son, do not abandon me (Morozova/Andrey)
  18. The Oprichnik: Act 2: First Tableau: I leave, mother, but I won’t be away for long (Andrey/Morozova)

Disk 2

  1. The Oprichnik: Act 2: Second Tableau: Introduction
  2. The Oprichnik: Act 2: Second Tableau: What refuge shall I find from my sins? (Chorus of Oprichniks)
  3. The Oprichnik: Act 2: Second Tableau: Brothers, stop being engrossed in godly things! (Vyazminsky/Chorus of Oprichniks)
  4. The Oprichnik: Act 2: Second Tableau: No, stay, I come from the Czar (Basmanov/Chorus of Oprichniks/Vyazminsky)
  5. The Oprichnik: Act 2: Second Tableau: Have you made this choice freely (Vyazminsky/Chorus of Oprichniks)
  6. The Oprichnik: Act 2: Second Tableau: Before you, like before God (Andrey)
  7. The Oprichnik: Act 2: Second Tableau: Are you ready, then, to take the sacred oath? (Vyazminsky/Andrey/Chorus of Oprichniks)
  8. The Oprichnik: Act 2: Second Tableau: O Natalya, O mother! (Andrey/Vyazminsky/Basmanov/Chorus of Oprichniks)
  9. The Oprichnik: Act 2: Second Tableau: In the name of the almighty God (Vyazminsky/Chorus of Oprichniks/Andrey/Basmanov)
  10. The Oprichnik: Act 2: Second Tableau: As glorious as the sun in a clear day (Vyazminsky/ Chorus of Oprichniks)
  11. The Oprichnik: Act 3: Introduction (Orchestra)
  12. The Oprichnik: Act 3: Dark times are looming on us (Chorus of People)
  13. The Oprichnik: Act 3: Oh, how lonely I already feel! (Morozova)
  14. The Oprichnik: Act 3: Filthy bitch, dirty broom (Chorus of Boys/People/Morozova)
  15. The Oprichnik: Act 3: I run to you, dear mother (Natalya/Morozova)

Disk 3

  1. The Oprichnik: Act 3: Let’s run away, come, let’s flee somewhere (Natalya/Morozova/Zhemchuznïy/Chorus of People
  2. The Oprichnik: Act 3: I am before you and before the Lord (Natalya/Zhemchuznïy/Morozova)
  3. The Oprichnik: Act 3: Go, princess (Zhemchuznïy/Natalya/Chorus of Oprichniks/Chorus of People/Andrey/Morozova/ Basmanov)
  4. The Oprichnik: Act 3: I deny you, off with you, Praetorian (Morozova/Natalya)
  5. The Oprichnik: Act 3: Alas, I cannot fully grasp (Andrey/Natalya/Basmanov/Zhemchuznïy/Chorus of Oprichniks/Chorus of People)
  6. The Oprichnik: Act 3: Take heart, brother in faith (Basmanov/Natalya/Andrey/Zhemchuznïy/Chorus)
  7. The Oprichnik: Act 4: Honour and glory to the fine, courageous lad (Wedding Chorus)
  8. The Oprichnik: Act 4: Dances of Oprichniks and women (Orchestra)
  9. The Oprichnik: Act 4: Friends, this day is both joyful and sad (Andrey/Chorus of Oprichniks/Basmanov)
  10. The Oprichnik: Act 4: Oh, if only this banquet would end! (Natalya/Andrey)
  11. The Oprichnik: Act 4: You are my light, my life (Natalya/Andrey)
  12. The Oprichnik: Act 4: Oh, may they never age (Wedding Chorus/Andrey/Basmanov
  13. The Oprichnik: Act 4: My respects to the noble congregation (Vyazminsky/Andrey/Basmanov/Chorus/Natalya)
  14. The Oprichnik: Act 4: Look, a frightening storm threatens (Vyazminsky/Natalya/Basmanov/Andrey/Chorus)
  15. The Oprichnik: Act 4: And so, my dove, do you know who is calling you? (Vyazminsky/Andrey/Natalya/Chorus/ Basmanov/Morozova)