COMPOSERS: Dargomizhsky
LABELS: Saison Russe
WORKS: The Stone Guest
PERFORMER: Nikolaï Vassiliev, Viatcheslav Potchapski, Tatiana Erastova, Marina Lapina, Nikolai Rechetniak; Orchestra of the Bolshoi Theatre/Andrey Chistiakov
CATALOGUE NO: RUS 288113 DDD (distr. Harmonia Mundi)
The Stone Guest – a setting of Pushkin’s poetic version of the Don Juan story – was Dargomizhsky’s last opera. It is interesting not only for the inevitable comparisons with Don Giovanni but for the composer’s use of a new kind of melodic recitative which – apart from Laura’s two Spanish songs – dispensed with distinct arias. This version from the Bolshoi Theatre idiomatically demonstrates the effectiveness of that vocal writing, and is characterfully sung. William Humphreys-Jones