OP2872. AÏDA, Live Performance, 15 June, 1961, w.Melik-Pashaev Cond.Bolshoi Theatre Ensemble; Galina Vishnevskaya, Zurab Andzhaparidze, Irina Arkhipova, Pavel Lisitsian, Ivan Petrov, etc. (Czech Republic) 2-Ponto 1059. - 8717202250592
“Galina Vishnevskaya, an electrifying soprano who endured repression and exile as one of the postwar Soviet Union’s most prominent political dissidents, died on 10 December in Moscow. She was 86.
Ms. Vishnevskaya, the wife of the celebrated cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich, was renowned both as an emotional singer with a polished technique and as a charismatic actress. She had performed in operettas and music hall revues before joining the Bolshoi Theater of Russia, the country’s premier opera company.
At the Bolshoi she breathed new life into stodgy Soviet-era productions with dynamic interpretations of Tatyana in Tchaikovsky’s EUGENE ONÉGIN, Marina in Mussorgsky’s BORIS GODUNOV and Natasha Rostova in Prokofiev’s WAR AND PEACE. In 23 years at the Bolshoi, from 1952 through 1974, she performed more than 30 roles.
Though Ms. Vishnevskaya was rarely allowed to sing in the West at the height of her powers in the 1960s and ’70s, she drew rave reviews when she did. ‘Galina Vishnevskaya’s appearances at the Metropolitan Opera are like a comet’s, sudden, infrequent, capable of lighting up the sky’, Raymond Ericson wrote in The New York Times, reviewing her performance in the title role of Puccini’s TOSCA in 1975.”
- Jonathan Kandell, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 11 Dec., 2012
“Lisitsian had a major career….enjoying three decades as a leading artist at the Bolshoi. He was the foremost interpreter of Tchaikovsky’s baritone rôles – perhaps the finest Onégin of his time. He also created several rôles in works by Prokofiev and was admired for his interpretation of leading rôles in the operas of Verdi, Gounod, Bizet and Puccini. The voice was a supremely beautiful instrument used with the phrasing and sensitivity of a fine instrumentalist.”
- Vivian A. Liff, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, Jan./Feb., 2011
"This Armenian baritone remains one of the best-kept musical secrets of the old Soviet state. The voice was remarkably warm, bright, and well produced, with a faster-than-normal vibrato that was perfectly even and possessed no beat. He also had Schipa’s own gift for phrasing in an imaginative, highly musical fashion that breathed life into whatever he did; and he had the technique and breath control to support his ambitious efforts."
- Barry Brenesal, FANFARE, July/Aug., 2002