OP2972. PRINCE IGOR (Borodin), Live Performance, 12 Oct., 1962, (sung in Russian), w.Oskar Danon Cond. Lyric Opera of Chicago Ensemble; Igor Gorin (Prince Igor); Boris Christoff (Galitsky; Konchak); Consuelo Rubio (Yaroslavna); David Poleri (Vladimir); Carol Smith (Konchakovna); Renato Cesari (Skula); Mariano Caruso (Eroshka), replete with curtain calls and commentary; IGOR GORIN, w.Willard Straight (Pf.): Arie Antiche, incl.Bottegari, Monteverdi, Scarlatti, Rosa, Falcionieri, Paradis, Vivaldi & Legrenzi – recorded 1961; w.Harold Barlow Cond.Firestone Hour Orch.: BARBIERE – Largo al factotum – broadcast 24 Sept., 1945; Bud Carrey interviews Igor Gorin. (Canada) 3-Immortal Performances IPCD 1044. - 748252293343
“The principal value of this important release is Gorin’s Igor, a towering achievement vocally and dramatically. His rich, resonant, firmly focused voice is based on an extremely sound technique, and he sings with presence and character. Those who really love this opera should know this performance, which is as richly characterized and beautifully sung as any.
In addition to Gorin, this performance boasts Boris Christoff in the dual roles of Galitsky and Konchak . . . In his excellent notes, producer Richard Caniell writes that Christoff is not in quite as firm voice as he was on his earlier EMI BORIS GODUNOV recording. That may be true, but he sounds pretty good to me here, and with much firmer tones than he shows on the later EMI set.
There is one more highlight in PRINCE IGOR, and that is the tenor David Poleri’s sensitive and lovely singing here. This version of Vladimir’s Cavatina can stand with some of the finest.
So the monumental presence of Christoff and the rich Prince of Gorin are the reasons for serious collectors to explore this set. That is especially true because of the added bonus of a 1961 studio recording originally on the Golden Crest label called ‘Arie antiche’, with Gorin accompanied very nicely by pianist Willard Straight. . . . A brief interview rounds out the Gorin material here.
As usual, Immortal Performances’ production standards are top of the line. The notes are both informative and interesting . . . overall this is a natural sounding early 1960s monaural radio broadcast, and for this kind of material the sound is really terrific.”
- Henry Fogel, FANFARE, Nov./Dec., 2014
"Igor Gorin left his native Ukraine at the age of 15, and Austria (where he had struggled through to the beginnings of a promising career) clear-sightedly in 1933. His first recordings were made in 1937 for RCA Victor, and though a few were given British HMV catalogue numbers, I have no recollection of seeing them listed, let alone setting eyes upon a copy. He sang in opera in New York (only once at the Met), Chicago and New Orleans, gaining his considerable popularity from extensive concert tours and work on radio. He was probably at the height of his fortunes in the 1950s, retired in 1965 and died in 1982. In everything there is a sense of involvement, the voice well schooled, warm and ample, thrilling in the upper range.”
- John Steane, GRAMOPHONE, Feb., 2007
“Poleri’s ringing Italian-style tenor…might even have gone on to a more important career had not his unpredictable behavior proved to be his undoing. Once, while singing CARMEN with the New York City Opera on tour in Chicago, the temperamental Poleri reached the final scene, dropped his knife, shouted ‘Finish it yourself!’ and marched off the stage, leaving a perplexed Carmen, Gloria Lane, to stab herself to death. After that, Poleri was not surprisingly viewed as a bad risk. The tenor did make a glorious sound, though, one that was prematurely silenced when he died in a helicopter crash in Hawaii.”
– Peter G. Davis, THE AMERICAN OPERA SINGER, p.454
"During their shared years with the Bach Aria Group, Eileen Farrell stated to me that her greatest reward was hearing the gorgeous singing of Carol Smith, an outstanding contralto. Smith's singing of Konchakovna is another compelling reason to own this important set."
- J. R. Peters