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Glinka: Ivan Susanin / Marinov, Ghiuselev, Stoyanova, Doikov

“Glinka belonged to, or rather founded, the Russian national school of opera. He was also the first Russian composer who set Russian music on the European musical map. He travelled widely in Europe, met both Bellini and Donizetti in Milan and it is possible to hear an influence from them in this, the first of his two operas.

‘I could not become an Italian composer and, remembering my homeland with nostalgia, I gradually began to think of composing like a Russian’ wrote Glinka in his memoirs. From 1830-4 he had travelled throughout Germany, Switzerland and Italy, and A Life for the Tsar is the result of all the western musical influences Glinka had absorbed during his travels combining with Russian musical culture.

At the successful premiere in St Petersburg in 1836 in the presence of the Tsar who gave the signal to applaud the public, embraced the work. Glinka had composed the first Russian opera, the progenitor of the operas to follow by Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Mussorgsky, Borodin, Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Shostakovich.

In the title role we hear one of the foremost basses of the second half of the 20th century, Nicola Ghiuselev. He was overshadowed by his compatriot Nicolai Ghiaurov and the Russian Evgeny Nesterenko but he had a long international career and recorded extensively. Here aged 50 the tone is somewhat greyer than in recordings from the previous decades but his legato singing is still exemplary as is his nobility of tone and he gives a rounded and deeply moving portrait of the folk hero Ivan Susanin.

A Life for the Tsar by Mikhail Glinka
Performer:  Christina Angelakova (Alto), Dimiter Stanchev (Bass), Elena Stoyanova (Soprano),
Nicolai Ghiuselev (Bass), Roumen Doikov (Tenor), Angel Petkov (Tenor),
Nikolai Stoilov (Bass)
Conductor:  Ivan Marinov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sofia National Opera Chorus,  Sofia National Opera Orchestra

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  • Seller location: Lower Hutt City, Wellington, NZ

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