Artist: Soloists, Chorus & Orchestra of the Bolshoi Theatre Moscow, Alexander Vedernikov
Title: The Bolshoi Experience: Highlights from Russian Operas, Vol. 1
Genre: Classical
Release Date: 2006
Duration: 01:15:38
Quality: High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
Label: Pentatone

Alexander Vedernikov leads the orchestra, soloists and chorus of the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow on this first volume of Highlights From Russian Operas, including works by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Glinka and others.

“Now here comes a compilation of excerpts from the present generation of Bolshoi artists, recorded less than a year ago in stunning SACD sound, rendering an impressive realism to the performances. The chorus and orchestra, always among the top contenders in the operatic world, are heard in their full glory with magnificent brass and silken strings. The chorus includes excellent voices, less vibrato-laden than earlier incarnations and with a punch that makes the Polovtsian dances really thrilling…There is an essay on the music in three languages and several fine colour photos from Bolshoi stagings but no texts. Playing time is generous and I wouldn’t mind a second issue, covering operas that are not included here and giving another opportunity to hear some of these singers again and maybe some others from the Bolshoi roster.” –Gran Forsling, Music Web

“This co-production of the Bolshoi Theatre (the word translates as “Great”) and Pentatone brings a sampling of the typical opera-goers’ experience in one of the great world centres of opera. And in exemplary surround sonics instead of the awful sound of Soviet-ear recordings or the so-so sound of many more recent Russian efforts….The last selection is one of the most energetic and dramatic versions of the orchestral Polovtsian Dances I’ve ever heard — making a grand audiophile wrap up to an interesting survey of the Bolshoi Experience. The acoustics of the huge venue are excellent and the 5.0 surround recreates them with much realism.” –John Sunier, Audiophile Audition


01 – A Life for the Czar, Act 2- After the battle the god of war – Polonaise and chorus
02 – A Life for the Czar, Act 4- They sense the truth! – Ivan Susanin’s aria
03 – Russalka, Act 3- Some unknown power – Prince’s cavatina
04 – Russalka, Act 3- What does this mean – Mad scene
05 – Iolanthe- Net, charyi lask krasyi myatezhnoj (Vaudemont’s Romance)
06 – Queen of Spades, Act 3- It is close on midnight already – Lisa’s aria
07 – Mazeppa, Act 2- Mazeppa’s arioso
08 – Aleko- Old Gipsy’s Story
09 – Prince Igor, Act 2- No sleep no rest – Prince Igor’s aria (orch. Rimsky-Korsakov)
10 – Prince Igor, Act 2- Are you in good health, Prince – Konchak’s aria
11 – Prince Igor, Act 2- Hey, bring the captive girls here! – Recitativo (orch. Rimsky-Korsakov)
12 – Prince Igor, Act 2- Polovetsian Dances