Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Lost Boris Godunov

Princeton University has staged Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev and stage director Vsevolod Meyerhold's 1930s staging of Pushkin's "Boris Godunov," apparently for the first time. (They ran afoul of the Soviet bureaucracy and it was never staged in Russia.)

The story is that Prokofiev and Meyerhold disdained Modeste Moussorgsky's opera of the same name for being too lush and missing Pushkin's comic elements. I still love the Moussorgsky, having been introduced to it by an old vinyl album of excerpts featuring Alexander Kipnis. I know everyone says Feodor Chaliapin was the definitive Boris, and he was certainly formidable (though the recordings I've heard are kinda thin and scratchy which might not be a fair way to listen to him) but I think Kipnis was pretty spectacular.

Anyway, here's a decent review of the Prokofiev version. I'm fond of Prokofiev too and would love to have seen it. I understand there's a recording of just the music, which I'll try to find. I hope it catches on with other opera companies.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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