OP3189. DIE MEISTERSINGER – Act III, excerpts (in Russian) (Wagner), w. Samosud Cond. All-Union Radio Ensemble; Boris Dobrin, Meczyslaw Schavinsky, Vladimir Zahkarov, Vladimir Tarsky, Nadezhda Sukhoitsynva, etc.; NADEZHDA SUKHOVITSYNA: Nozze - Voi che sapete; PANTELEIMON NORTSOV: Don Giovanni - Deh, vieni alla finesta; Finch' han dal vino; NATALIA ROZHDESTVENSKAYA: Der Erlkönig; Gretchen am spinnrade (both Schubert) (all in Russian). (Russia) Aquarius AQVR 397, Live Performance, 3 Dec., 1952, Moscow Conservatory (recorded in brilliant, clear sound!). - 4607123631775
“Note that this is not the complete act but, rather, scenes often without connecting music….We collectors love to complain about missing parts in recordings, but finally we can be grateful to Andrei Rosantsev for making this rich and indiomatic recording available. The soloists in MEISTERSINGER appear to be largely unknown in the West but deserve to be heard and enjoyed. Boris Dobrin’s Hans Sachs is smoothly sung and well-characterized in a rich, dark baritone on a par with the best. The Walther, Meczyslaw Schavinsky, caresses the notes of the ‘Preislied’ with no trace of the ‘Bayreuth Bark’ that has often robbed the aria of its beauty. Vladimir Zakharov’s Beckmesser may miss the comic spirit of Kunz, but rarely has the role been better sung….The Eva, Nadezhda Sukhoitsynva, is obviously a Slavic soprano with a slightly brittle tone and ‘bite’, but aquits herself beautifully in the quintet and then in her lines to Walther…with a nice trill…Aquarius must have used master tapes or something close as the sound is clear and well-defined with no surface noise or distortion….Warmly recommended.”
- William Russell, THE RECORD COLLECTOR, 2016
"This concert also includes very rare recordings of the baritone Panteleimon Nortsov performing Don Giovani’s Serenade and Aria. Nortsov despised singing in the studio and apart from early recordings of EUGEN ONÉGIN and THE QUEEN OF SPADES he left only a handful of recorded arias and songs. The concert also includes Natalia Rozhdesvenskaya (the mother of conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky) in performances of 2 Schubert lieder."
- Mike Weston
“Valdimir Petrovich Zakharov was the star baritone of the All-Union Radio, a troupe which could boast such great artists as Nadezhda Kazantseva, Zara Dolukhanova and Georgy Vinogradov and Anatoly Orfenov. The main remit of the troupe was to familiarize their audience with Western and Russian works both rarely performed on the opera stage and concert platform as well as more popular fare.
Like Vinogradov, Zakharov is not known to have performed on the operatic stage. He possessed quite a large voice and was certainly an expressive and compelling actor (as can be seen in the 1958 film of Rachmaninov’s THE MISERLY KNIGHT which provides the only film footage of the singer. The film also provides a rare instance of a tele-opera where a role is not lip-synched by an actor). The voice was firm, well-trained, intensive and elegant. Unfortunately very little is known about the life of this unique and distinctive artist except that he performed the major baritone roles at All-Union Radio from the 1930s until the 1960s and that he taught at the Gnessin Institute. Such a lack of biographical material is not unusual for radio artists. Luckily, biographies have been published on Kazantseva and Dolukhanova as well as Orfenov’s autobiography.
Although many of the opera broadcasts with Zakharov’s commanding voice have appeared on CD: LES PECHEURS DE PERLES (in the role of Zurga - with Sergei Lemeshev and Nadezhda Kazantseva (OP3176), Massenet’s WERTHER (as Albert - with Ivan Kozlovsky and Maria Maksakova), Rossini’s L'ITALIANA IN ALGERI (as Taddeo - with Zara Dolukhanova), and Leoncavallo’s PAGLIACCI (in the role of Tonio - with Dimiter Uzunov and Pavel Lisitsian), Bizet’s DJAMILEH (OP2919), DIE MEISTERSINGER (OP3189), Dargomyzhsky’s ESMERALDA (OP1823), of Don Carlos in Dargomyzhsky’s STONE GUEST (with Galina Vishnevskaya), Count Almaviva in Mozart's LE NOZZE DI FIGARO (conducted by Kurt Sanderling), and Ford in Nicolai’s DIE LUSTIGE WEIBER VON WINDSOR (OP2893), there are still a large number of unpublished operas in the archives of Gostelradiofond including the title roles in Mozart's DON GIOVANNI, Grechaninov’s DOBRYNIA NIKITICH, Alexei Kozlovsky’s ULUGBEK, an outstounding Barnaba in Ponchielli’s LA GIOCONDA (with Ivan Petrov), Rolando in Verdi’s LA BATTAGLIA DI LEGNANO and Evgeny in Dzerzhinsky’s QUIET FLOWS THE DON to name but a few. A great many of his song recordings from his numerous radio recitals thankfully also exist."
- Michael Weston
“Samuil Abramovich Samosud was the Principal Conductor of the Maly Opera Theatre from 1919 to 1936. He conducted three world premičres 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 premičres 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 premičre 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