RIMSKY-KORSAKOV The Tale of Tsar Saltan
Albina Shagimuratova, Irina Churilova, Edward Tsanga, Mikhail Vekua, Elena Vitman
Mariinsky Orchestra & Chorus, Valery Gergiev
Gramophone Editor’s Choice – DVD of the Month
Available as Blu-Ray and DVD Mariinsky MAR 0597 @ £32*
Gramophone DVD of the Month “It’s as traditional a staging as is possible to imagine…Costumes are as bright as poster paint…[Gergiev] applies his magic touch to Saltan’s glittering score, his Mariinsky band on top form. He has a fine cast, led by the late Edward Tsanga…[whose] Saltan is firm-voiced and authoritative…The stellar performance, however, comes from Albina Shagimuratova, radiant of voice as the Swan-Princess.”
As a companion to ‘The Golden Cockerel’, Valery Gergiev presents a second Rimsky-Korsakov opera on the Mariinsky Label, ‘The Tale of Tsar Saltan’. Rarely staged and the only complete performance available on Blu-ray or DVD, this release is part of Valery Gergiev’s mission to showcase the breadth and depth that Russian music has to offer, capturing Rimsky-Korsakov’s adventurous and magical work for posterity. This production features a cast of the Mariinsky’s finest singers, including sopranos Irina Churilova, as Tsaritsa Militrisa, and Albina Shagimuratova as The Swan-Princess; and bass-baritone Edward Tsanga, who died suddenly in early 2017, in the lead role.
Originally composed to celebrate Pushkin’s centenary, the full title of the work – ‘The Tale of Tsar Saltan, of His Son the Renowned and Mighty Bogatyr Prince Gvidon Saltanovich, and of the Beautiful Princess-Swan’ – is indicative of the fantastical content of the opera. It is an old-fashioned Russian treat for the eyes and the ears from the country’s most long-standing musical institution. Filled with colourful music, typical of Rimsky-Korsakov’s style, it is also the source of the instantly-recognisable ‘Flight of the Bumblebee’, which arrives when the magic Swan-Princess changes Prince Gvidon Saltanovich into an insect.
BLU-RAY + DVD (DOUBLE PLAY) | 2 DISC
BD50 (REGION 0), 16:9, HD 1080i (NTSC)
DVD9 (REGION 0), 16:9 (NTSC)
2.0 PCM STEREO | 24Bit 48kHz PCM
Mariinsky Blu-Ray & DVD MAR0597