P.I. Tchaikovsky - Pique Dame (The Queen of Spades) (1974)
Bolshoi Theatre Chorus and Orchestra, Mark Ermler, conductor
Vladimir Atlantov, Tamara Milashkina, Vladimir Valaitis, Andrey Fedoseyev, Valentina Levko
Andrey Sokolov, Valery Yaroslavtsev, Vitaly Vlasov, Yury Dementyev, Galina Borisova
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 792 Mb (incl 5%) | Scans included
Genre: Classical, Opera | Label: Philips | # 420 375-2 | Time: 02:40:13
This version of The Queen of Spades was originally recorded in 1974 and made available as a special import; it was then generally released by Philips in 1988. Reviewing it at the time, AB gave a level account of its strengths, but had little difficulty in preferring the Tchakarov set when it was issued in 1990. Deleted by Philips, the Ermler performance has now been restored to the Melodiya catalogue. I cannot see anyone dissenting from AB's view: certainly I do not, except perhaps to regard him as being over-generous in his account of Atlantov's Herman in calling it ''loud and unsubtle''. Stronger words would also be appropriate, especially when Atlantov is compared with the sensitive Wieslaw Ochman on the Tchakarov set. Valentina Levko is a good Countess in what is a well-established Russian tradition of responses to the role: AB thought the old lady's reminiscences not so pointedly delivered as by some other singers, and I would add that she would certainly have acquired a better French accent during her long sojourn as the Venus of Paris.