George London / Alexander Melik-Pashaev - Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov

George London / Alexander Melik-Pashaev - Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov
Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov
Release Date:
October 1, 2002

With the name appearing above the title in letters almost as large as the title, the disc cover tells all that needs to be known about the recording within.

For truly, George London's performance is almost as big as the title, almost as grandly magnificent, as gigantically malevolent, as enormously human as the title character of Boris Godunov he portrays.

As good as some of the other parts of the performance are, this is plainly George London's Boris Godunov. London was the first non-Russian to sing the role at the Bolshoi Theater, and this recording is a document of his performance there.

Although not quite in the same league as Boris Christoff's commanding Boris or Feodor Chaliapin's virtually definitive effort, London's is still a magnificent interpretation of the role. He captures the triumphant tragedy of the Czar in the opening Coronation Scene, the tormented guilt in the Clock Scene, and the despairing majesty in the final Death Scene as few singers before him ever could and as none after him ever did.

The rest of the cast ranges from the very good to the merely competent. Conductor Alexander Melik-Pashaev is adept at keeping the action moving, even in the great crowd scenes. Although the CD transfer does improve the 1963 Soviet recording's harsh sound, the signal still breaks up at climaxes. Certainly not the ultimate Boris, but still worth hearing for London's superb performance.

Boris Godunov, opera (Rimsky-Korsakov edition)
Prologue. Scene 1.George London / Alexander Melik-Pashaev1:50
Prologue. Scene 1. Nu chto-zh vy-? (What's going on here?)George London / Alexander Melik-Pashaev4:48
Prologue. Scene 1. Pravoslávnyie! (Fellow believers of the Orthodox faith!)George London / Alexander Melik-Pashaev2:45
Prologue. Scene 1. Sláva tebé Tvortsú (Glory on earth to Thee)George London / Alexander Melik-Pashaev3:29
Prologue. Scene 2. Da zdrávstvuyet Tsar Boris Feodorovich! (Long live Tsar Boris Feodorovich!)George London / Alexander Melik-Pashaev1:53
Prologue. Scene 2. Uzh kak na nébe sólntsu krásnomu (Even as glory to the radiant sun)George London / Alexander Melik-Pashaev2:50
Prologue. Scene 2. Skorbit dushá! (My soul is torn with anguish!)George London / Alexander Melik-Pashaev2:45
Prologue. Scene 2. Sláva! (Glory)George London / Alexander Melik-Pashaev1:56
Act 1. Scene 1. Yeschyó odnó (One last episode to tell)George London / Alexander Melik-Pashaev4:45
Act 1. Scene 1. Bózhe krépkii, právyi (God, all-powerful and just)George London / Alexander Melik-Pashaev5:38
Act 1. Scene 1. Davnó, chestnói otéts (I have wanted to ask you)George London / Alexander Melik-Pashaev1:56
Act 1. Scene 1. Zvonyát k zaútrene (There's the call to morning prayers)George London / Alexander Melik-Pashaev1:39
Act 1. Scene 1. Borís! Borís! (Boris! Boris!)George London / Alexander Melik-Pashaev1:11
Act 1. Scene 2. Poïmála ya síza, séleznya (I caught myself a dove-colored drake)George London / Alexander Melik-Pashaev4:09
Act 1. Scene 2. Chto-zh ty prizadúmalsya, továrishch? (Why so preoccupied, comrade?)George London / Alexander Melik-Pashaev1:30
Act 1. Scene 2. Kak vo górode b' ylo vo Kazáni (While our troops were at the city walls)George London / Alexander Melik-Pashaev3:48
Act 1. Scene 2. Kak yédet yon (There goes that man)George London / Alexander Melik-Pashaev3:39
Act 1. Scene 2. Stártsy smirénnyie, ínoki chestnyie (Honest monks and humble old men)George London / Alexander Melik-Pashaev4:04
Act 1. Scene 2. Chúdova monastyryá (A worthless novice)George London / Alexander Melik-Pashaev3:31

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