“A virtue of this recording is that the work is given complete...all this material, diverse in style as it is, adds up in performance to an impressive whole. To no small degree this is thanks to Rostropovich, for whom this was a labour of love: he controls his large forces-45 singers taking 72 roles between them, chorus and orchestra—very convincingly, and it has been produced with an ear to its dramatic effect.”
“In Rostropovich’s powerful reading one revels in the vividness of the atmosphere… The opera culminates in a great patriotic chorus, using the most haunting tune of all…the emotional thrust is overwhelming. The French radio Choir sings with real Russian fervour.”
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