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Kresimir Baranovic

Rimsky-Korsakov: The Snow Maiden (3CD)

A first release on CD for the first recording in stereo of Rimsky-Korsakov’s enchanting springtime love-story.

Fresh from a successful tour of Boris Godunov in Switzerland the previous year, the Belgrade Opera in 1955 was keen to make an impression on an international public. At the same time, the Decca company perceived a cost-effective but artistically assured opportunity to expand both its small but rapidly growing stereo catalogue and its opera discography with classics of the Russian opera repertoire in the original language.

Composed in 1882, The Snow Maiden was Rimsky-Korsakov’s third opera, and he would go on to write another twelve but even late in life he thought it his finest. It brings nature to life with magical representations of the forest, of frost and spring and even a Shrovetide doll, alongside the villagers who come across the maiden and adopt her. The score is rich in flower songs, shepherds’ piping and even a restrained deployment of Wagnerian leitmotifs associated with The Snow Maiden, the trouser-role shepherd Lel and Mizgir, the merchant who is doomed never to take the Snow Maiden as his bride with the final arrival of spring.

The Snow Maiden
Springtime tale in a prologue and four acts
Libretto by the composer after the ‘springtime fairy-tale’
by Alexander Nikolayevich Ostrovsky

Spring: Biserka Cvejić
King Frost: Miroslav Čangalović
Snow Maiden (Snegurochka): Sofija Janković
Wood Spirit: Drago Dimitrijević
Lel: Milica Miladinović
Kupava: Valerija Heybal
Tsar Berendey: Stepan Andrashevich
Bermyata: Ilija Gligorijević
Mizgir: Dušan Popović
Bobil: Nikola Jančić
Bobilikha: Ljubica Versaykova
Shrovetide Straw-Dummy: Ivan Murgaški
First Herald: Bogoljub Grubač
Second Herald: Krsta Krstich
Page: Anita Yelinek

Belgrade National Opera Chorus & Orchestra
Krešimir Baranović