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Tchaikovsky: Mazeppa
By Anatoly Mishutin

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By Anatoly Mishutin, Choir of the USSR State Academic Bolshoi Theatre, Evgeny Nesterenko, Irina Arkhipova, Konstantin Baskov, Orchestra of the USSR State Academic Bolshoi Theatre, Tamara Milashkina, Valery Taroslavtsev, Vladimir Valaitis, and Vladislav Piavko. By Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893). Classical. Listening CD. Melodiya #MELCD1002613. Published by Melodiya (NX.MELCD1002613).

Item Number: NX.MELCD1002613

Conducted by Fuat Mansurov.

Mazeppa holds a unique position among Tchaikovsky's nine operas. In 1881, the composer became interested in the plot of Pushkin's poem Poltava, in which the dramatic events of Peter the Great's era and the story of Ukrainian hetman Mazeppa's betrayal are intertwined with the conflict of relations between Mazeppa and the Kochubey family. No other major work cost the composer so much labor and doubt. Tchaikovsky gave up the work he had started and radically reworked the libretto several times. It took him two years to write the opera. Mazeppa enjoyed more than modest success in the composer's lifetime. The uniqueness of the opera was finally discovered as late as in the twentieth century, and how gratifying this work was despite the fact that it was extremely difficult to stage. Mazeppa shifts the accents towards a personal drama - young Mariya's love for the old hetman is similar to a demonic fate. However, the solo and ensemble scenes alternate with large-scale and epic choral scenes. The genuine culmination of the opera is the finale of the second act (the scene of Kochubey's execution), which is one of the peaks of the Russian operatic art of the nineteenth century. The Melodiya fund contains several recordings of Tchaikovsky's Mazeppa. Each of them is marked by the participation of prominent musicians. This particular recording was made as part of the ambitious project The Complete Collection of Tchaikovsky's Recorded Music. It involved the talents of Vladimir Valaitis, Irina Arkhipova, Tamara Milashkina, Evgeny Nesterenko, Vladislav Piavko and other celebrated soloists of the famous stage. The production is conducted by Fuat Mansurov, People's Artist of Russia, the Kazakh SSR and the Tatar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. He conducted the Russian and foreign operatic repertoire at the Bolshoi for forty years, earning the love and popularity of music lovers.

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