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This live recording of Mussorgsky’s great historical opera Boris Godunov comes from 1966. The conductor is the legendary Herbert von Karajan and the cast includes some of the greatest singers of the time, including Nicolai Ghiaurov, Alexei Maslennikov, Sena Jurinac, and Kim Borg. The performance recorded here uses the Rimsky-Korsakov orchestration, but slightly changes the order of some scenes. A number of cuts were made by the conductor in order to make this very long opera fit a normal theatrical evening.
Modest Mussorgsky’s opera Boris Godunov was completed in 1869, but had to wait until 1874 for its premiere. Whilst not a critical success, it was well received by the public, although like Pushkin’s play on which it is based its subject matter gave the censors fits.
Rimsky-Korsakov published his own edition of the opera in 1896 with an update in 1908, after which it began to take its place in the standard repertoire.
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