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Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame / Shuraitis, Varady, Obraztsova, Kuhn, Ress

Release Date: 05/24/2011 
Label:  Orfeo D'or Catalog #: 811112   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Peter Ilyich TchaikovskyCarl Maria von Weber
Performer:  Vladimir AtlantovBodo BrinkmannLudmilla SchemtschukAlfred Kuhn,   ... 
Conductor:  Algis Zhuraitis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera OrchestraBavarian State Opera Chorus
Number of Discs: 2 
Length: 2 Hours 15 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

In contrast to Eugene Onegin, Tchaikovsky’s other operas have led something of a shadowy existence in the repertoire. Only his penultimate music drama The Queen of Spades (also after Alexander Pushkin) can claim to look back on a continuous performing tradition in recent decades. In 1984 the Bavarian State Opera saw a production that was musically exemplary in many ways, starting with the role of Lisa, sung by Julia Varady. She had already been celebrated in Munich for her portrayal of Tatyana in Onegin, and here once again she showed herself to be an ideal interpreter for one of Tchaikovsky’s female roles. She savoured the lyrical aspects of the part with the utmost subtlety, while in the tragic plot twist on the banks of the Neva she Read more showed herself a match for its dramatic climaxes. Her vocal portrait of the self-sacrificing young lover Lisa can at last be heard here on CD. Her partner Vladimir Atlantov had to master one of the most murderous tenor roles and did so brilliantly. During the course of his international career, it was above all with Tchaikovsky’s Hermann and with Verdi’s Otello that he truly succeeded in making his mark in a manner that has been remembered long after. There has hardly been another singer able to portray in so gripping a fashion the increasing intensity of Hermann’s passion for Lisa, up to the point of his deadly obsession to win her by means of the “secret of the three cards”. The old Countess is sung by the mezzo-soprano Elena Obraztsova, like him another of the great voices from the former Soviet Union. They were joined by several further compatriots: Polina was sung luxuriantly by Ludmila Shemchuk, Count Tomsky by Alexander Voroshilo, and last but not least Algis Shuraitis was at the helm of the Bavarian State Opera to ensure that their joint efforts were crowned by the creation of an idiomatic cast for this production of The Queen of Spades. The ensemble, chorus and orchestra of the Bavarian State Opera contributed above and beyond the call of duty to the success of it all, playing and singing with fire and verve, and they well deserve an honourable mention here. Read less

Works on This Recording

Queen of Spades, Op. 68 by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Vladimir Atlantov (Tenor), Bodo Brinkmann (Baritone), Ludmilla Schemtschuk (Alto),
Alfred Kuhn (Baritone), Karl Helm (Bass), Julia Varády (Soprano),
Gudrun Wewezow (Mezzo Soprano), Ulrich Ress (Tenor), Yoshihisa Yamaj (Tenor),
Carmen Anhorn (Mezzo Soprano), Alexander Voroshilov (Baritone), Elena Obraztsova (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor:  Algis Zhuraitis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Bavarian State Opera Chorus
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; Russia 
Date of Recording: 1984 
Venue:  Live  Live 
Language: Russian 

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