OP0251. LOHENGRIN (in Russian), recorded 1949, w.Samosud Cond. USSR Radio Ensemble; Ivan Kozlovsky, Yelizaveta Shumskaya, Yevgenia Smolenskaya, Ilia Bogdanov, etc.; IVAN KOZLOVSKY: Pastorale (Weckerlin) & Two Songs (Tschaikowsky), Live Performance, 1948, Berlin; w.Knuschewitzkij Cond. Jazz Orch.: Besedka (Blanter); w.Sacharow (Pf.): Dichterliebe – Ich grolle nicht; Hör’ ich das Liedchen klingen (Schumann), both recorded 1933; w.Lev Steinberg Cond.: Lohengrin – In fernem Land – recorded 1937. (E.U.) 3-Walhall 0037. Final copy! - 4035122650372
“Kozlovsky's voice was distinguished for its beautiful high register and rich palette of shadings. He sang more than 50 operatic rôles, and was especially famous as Lensky in EUGENE ONÉGIN. They say that Ivan Kozlovsky considered his voice as his one and only possession and prayed every morning thanking the Lord for the priceless gift He gave him.”
- Olga Fyodorova
“One way of dividing the world seems to be into admirers and detractors of Ivan Kozlovsky. For the former, the succulent, dripping sweetness of the Russian tenor provides a paragon of bel canto, exquisite, long-held soft head notes, phrases caressed and pressed out of familiar shape….the portrait of an extraordinary singer….”
- Max Loppert, OPERA ON RECORD, Vol. I, pp.29-30
“Elisaveta Shumsyaya made a relatively late début on the leading stage of her home-town, but her success there was of all the greater duration. In the one and a half decades after the Second World War she developed into one of the most indispensable singers at the Bolshoi Theatre and also at the studios of the Russian record company Melodiya. With her light, easy but substantial soprano voice she participated in around a dozen complete opera recordings, mostly in works by Western European composers.”
- Kurt Malisch, VOICES BEHIND THE IRON CURTAIN
"Evgenia Smolenskaya (1919-89) was born in a small village near Gorlovka in the Donbass. She studied at the Yenakiyevo Pedagogical College and upon graduating, became a teacher of Ukrainian and literature. After taking part in the regional Olympiad in Stalino (now Donetsk), she was sent to study at the Kiev Conservatory (1939-41). After the war she was engaged to sing at the opera house in Stalino and continued her musical education under EN Panaeva. In 1947 she joined the Bolshoi Theatre, débuting there in the role of Natasha in Dargomyzhsky’s RUSALKA (a role which she was to record twice). Her other roles included Aïda, Yaroslavana, Santuzza, Kuma, Marcellina, Emma (KHOVANSHCHINA), Maria (MAZEPPA) and Militrisa. She recorded the role of Ortrud (above) in the first studio recording of LOHENGRIN. She also taught at the Gnesin Institute."
- Mike Weston
“Samuil Abramovich Samosud was the Principal Conductor of the Maly Opera Theatre from 1919 to 1936. He conducted three world premières here: Shostakovich’s THE NOSE (1930) and LADY MACBETH OF THE MTSENSK DISTRICT (1935) - both interpretations were acknowledged as exemplary by the composer - and Prokofiev’s WAR AND PEACE (1946, 1955). Samosud also collaborated with director Vsevolod Meyerhold on a new version of Tchaikovsky’s opera THE QUEEN OF SPADES (1935).
Samosud was also not afraid to tackle works by contemporary Western composers. He conducted the Russian premières of the operas DER SPRUNG ÜBER DEN SCHATTEN (1927) and JONNY SPIELT AUF by Austrian composer Ernst Krenek. ‘It would be worth travelling from Germany for DER SPRUNG ÜBER DEN SCHATTEN alone. It is an astounding, stunning production’, enthused composer Paul Hindemith. Ernest Ansermet, at that time Principal Conductor of the Geneva Symphony Orchestra, was fully in agreement: ‘I would be so bold as to say that the former Mikhailovsky Theatre is the best opera house in Russia; only La Scala in Milan can compete with it as regards performance. The production is simply brilliant. Samosud has no rivals in the West’. Thanks to Samuil Samosud, the mastery of the Maly Opera Theatre’s opera company and orchestra reached such a high level that almost every première was a sensation, attracting the cream of the country’s creative intelligentsia. The Mikhailovsky Theatre continues to follow the artistic principles laid down by Samuil Samosud: attention to and interest in the classics, coupled with experimentation and a search for new stars.”
- Mikhailovsky Theatre