OP3153. CHRISTMAS EVE (Rimsky-Korsakov), recorded 1948, w.Golovanov Cond. Moscow Radio Ensemble; Sergei Krasovsky, Natalya Shpiller, Dmitri Tarkhov, Natalya Kulagina, Sergei Migay, etc. (Russia) 2-Aquarius AQVR 172, newly revised edition. - 4607123630198
"This is a wonderful performance
.This is old-style Russian operatic singing before that art became a byword for lumbering oafishness
.Some of these singers, like the baritone Sergei Migay, were singing in the Bolshoi when Nicholas II was on the throne. Others, like the mighty bass Krasovsky and the mezzo Ludmila Legostayeva, were already distinguished in the early Soviet period. Especially impressive are the mezzo Natalya Kulagina and the heroic but sweetly sympathetic tenor Dmitri Tarkhov, both of whom spent many years as part of the regular troupe at Moscow Radio
.The most famous singer here is Shpiller as the heroine Oxana. Here she is in immensely dramatic and compelling form.
- Gerard McBurney, INTERNATIONAL OPERA COLLECTOR, Summer, 1999
Golovanov was born in Moscow on 21 January 1891 and died there on 28 August 1953. This was one year after he was stripped of his chief conductor role at the Bolshoi, the fate of those who fell from Komsomol favour.
His conducting style is said to have helped shape both Samuel Samosud and Evgeny Svetlanov. What is the Golovanov style? None of the recordings I have heard are anything other than exciting. Every one of them is an event. He seems not to have had microphone nerves. If anyone had nerves it must have been the Melodiya engineers who had to accommodate the extremes he generated.
- Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International
Sergei Ivanovich Migai was a noted baritone who studied under the great Mattia Battistini and who joined the Bolshoi in 1911 on the recommendation of soprano Antonina Nezhdanova. He appeared at the Bolshoi until 1924. At that point he joined the Kirov Opera, where he sang until 1941 when he retired from the stage. He appeared in concert until 1948, when he began teaching at the Moscow Conservatory
.Migai was praised for having a supple, strong and well-controlled voice with a range of over two octaves as well as outstanding breath control. The great tenor Sergei Lemeshev is reported to have praised Migais velvety timbre as well as his control of his pianissimo, and that Migai could sing ten to twelve bars in one breath
.[Among his best parts were Onégin in Tchaikovskys EUGEN ONÉGIN, Mizgir and Griaznoi in Rimsky-Korsakovs THE SNOW MAIDEN and THE TSARS BRIDE, the Demon in Rubinsteins DEMON, and Rigoletto and Count di Luna in Verdis RIGOLETTO and IL TROVATORE]. Migais artistry of characterization, phrasing and breath control are never in question.
- William Russell, THE RECORD COLLECTOR, 2013
"Vakula is sung in ringing tones by Dmitri Tarkhov, who was then in his late 50s but not obviously so. Although his voice is strong, it is more than one-dimensional. Of non-Russian operas he recorded Puccini's Des Grieux and Max in DER FREISCHÜTZ."
- JTH, THE RECORD COLLECTOR, 2015