OP0264. PIQUE DAME, Live Performance, 1992, Mariinsky Theatre, w.Gergiev Cond. Kirov Opera Ensemble; Galina Gorchakova, Gegam Grigorian, Nikolai Putilin, Vladimir Chernov, Irina Archipova, etc. 3-Philips 438 141, Slipcase Edition w.Elaborate 211pp. Libretto-brochure. Very long out-of-print, Final Copy! - 028943814126
...Somewhere in between the extremes of visceral impact and the arm's-length approach comes this new Kirov version, and in many ways the medium it strikes is a happy one. Valery Gergiev is, of course, one of the outstanding Tchaikovskians of the day. Here again he persuades a thoroughly Western-sounding Kirov Theatre Orchestra to what is surely the most refined account of the score yet recorded, and one that is never lacking energy or full-blooded attack. His is not so much a compromise approach as one which stresses fatalism and underlying sadness. The recording was made in the Kirov Theatre itself. But for many I suspect the atmosphere of a real stage-venue will be a plus, and the all-important balance between voices and orchestra is just right... Gegam Grigorian brings the same impressive all-purpose ardour to Herman as he did to his Lensky at Covent Garden... [I]n many ways Gergiev's conducting elevates this new one above them all.”
- GRAMOPHONE, Oct., 1993
“We all know that the record industry is pulling in its horns, and yet Gergiev’s releases come out with a regularity which one would be led to believe that there was no problem. Philips have us in their debt for the operas of many Russian composers, and the present issue is no exception.
This opera has had a very chequered history in recording, and at last here we have a performance which displays a sweep and epic atmosphere aided by superb playing and singing. Gergiev keeps the drama moving and is not afraid to keep the pace moving forward without delay which prevents stasis from setting in.
The documentation is more than adequate, giving as it does a track by track analysis introducing each passage by the first line of the libretto. This is, in my opinion, now the most desirable version in the catalogue of Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece."
- John Phillips, musicweb-international