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"Servilia" - opera by Rimsky-Korsakov


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Author Topic: "Servilia" - opera by Rimsky-Korsakov  (Read 935 times)
christopher
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« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2016, 11:36:13 am »

A friend of mine went into the Pokrovskaya opera this week and asked about the release of the CD. The lady there told him that it's not yet on sale but most probably will be at the premiere performance on 14th-16th September.
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christopher
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« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2017, 02:39:14 pm »

So this recording of Servilia has still not appeared.  I wonder if it ever will....

Meanwhile someone (presumably in Moscow) has put up what must be a bootleg, dated 06.05.2016 - here:

http://muz-color.ru/?s= сервилия

Links called:
Римский-Корсаков Сервилия, 3ч.
Римский-Корсаков Сервилия, 1ч.
Римский-Корсаков Сервилия, 2ч.
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Hattoff
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« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2017, 08:02:35 am »

Thank you very much for that. There is some audience noise but the sound is not at all bad.

Thanks to you I now have all of Rimsky's operas, and wonderful things they are too.
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Hattoff
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« Reply #18 on: October 06, 2017, 08:17:39 am »

By the way, you may already know that, there is a new DVD of the Maryinsky "Tale of the Tsar Saltan" due out. I have a poor recording of it but this should be much better. 
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christopher
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« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2017, 10:52:39 am »

Thank you very much for that. There is some audience noise but the sound is not at all bad.

Thanks to you I now have all of Rimsky's operas, and wonderful things they are too.

Hi Hatoff - I'm glad to have completed your R-K opera collection (and mine too)!  Can I encourage you to give a review/impressions of this piece?  What do you make of it, as a piece of music, and in terms of this particular recording?  How does it compare with R-K's other operas?  I have to confess that despite having them all, I rarely listen to them (with the partial exception of May Night), I much prefer his orchestral works.
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Hattoff
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« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2017, 03:46:41 pm »

I am, right now, listening to the new Marinsky DVD of the Tale of the Tsar Saltan.
What, oh what, a disappointment. Is it Gergiev? or whoever rehearsed it for him? the beautiful sprightly melodies have become dirges and the beautiful dirges have become ambient music.
 
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christopher
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« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2017, 10:05:17 am »

I am, right now, listening to the new Marinsky DVD of the Tale of the Tsar Saltan.
What, oh what, a disappointment. Is it Gergiev? or whoever rehearsed it for him? the beautiful sprightly melodies have become dirges and the beautiful dirges have become ambient music.
 


What about Servilia though? What impressions would you share?@ Is it worth spending the time to listen through it?
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Hattoff
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« Reply #22 on: November 29, 2017, 08:28:23 pm »

I Have thought a lot about a reply since you first asked for a review. I Have listened to Servilia around eight times and I am getting to know it very well. There are wonderful melodies and brilliant orchestral effects and unusually for Rimsky  some passion. I haven't a clue about the plot or whether it works well as an opera, I like it very much.
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christopher
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« Reply #23 on: November 30, 2017, 10:44:22 am »

I Have thought a lot about a reply since you first asked for a review. I Have listened to Servilia around eight times and I am getting to know it very well. There are wonderful melodies and brilliant orchestral effects and unusually for Rimsky  some passion. I haven't a clue about the plot or whether it works well as an opera, I like it very much.

This is good to know, thanks Hatoff.  I can fill in on the plot.  Somewhat unusually for Russian opera it's set in classical times* - the story is set in Ancient Rome during Nero's reign.

From wikipedia - Servilia, daughter of the senator Soranus, is desired by her father to contract an alliance with Trasea, but the latter, hearing of her preference for his adopted son Valerius, withdraws his suit. Egnatius, the freedman of Soranus, being enamoured of Servilia, conspires against his master and Trasea, and intimates to Servilia that her submission alone will secure their safety. Valerius has mysteriously disappeared, and Servilia, becoming a convert to Christianity, renounces the World. Called before the tribunal, Trasea and Soranus are sentenced to banishment, while Servilia is awarded to Egnatius. Valerius now returns, bearing a proclamation from Nero that the tribunal is dissolved. The sudden reappearance of her lover causes Servilia's death, and Valerius is only prevented from destroying himself by the intervention of his foster-father. Egnatius, in his woe, invokes the Divine Being, and the rest join him in acclaiming the Christian God.

* - I can think of only a few Russian (recorded) operas set in classical/ancient/Biblical times: Mussorgsky's Salammbo; Serov's Judith....the majority of Russian opera is based on more recent European literature, (Russian) history and also of course Russian fairytales and myth. Fair comment?
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Hattoff
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« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2017, 08:47:11 am »

Thanks for that. Yes, It is quite remarkable how insular the subject matter of Russian opera is. With those exceptions you mention, at the widest it is only pan-slavic. There's only the Egyptian scene in Mlada and and the Chinese, I think, in the Golden Cockerel that come to my mind.
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« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2017, 12:08:51 pm »

I'm not sure that Russian opera is quite so insular as we might think. Clearly there was a political/cultural element in pre-revolutionary Russian music that was informed by the nationalism so popular across Europe in the nineteenth century but I also think that the success or otherwise of non-Russian/Slavic subjects in opera has been partly affected by what non-Russian audiences/musicologists think Russian music should sound like. In that respect, it has been common in the past for such works to be dismissed as anomalies or not authentic.

Just off the top of my head, I can think of these non-Russian subjects that were set to music by Russian composers, though not all have been recorded:

Dargomyzhsky:

Esmeralda
The Stone Guest

Serov:

Judith

Mussorgsky:

Salammbo

Anton Rubinstein:

Nero

(The latter perhaps most obviously in the context of this discussion, but also several others including his "sacred operas".)

Rimsky-Korsakov:

Mozart and Salieri
Servilia

Tchaikovsky:

The Maid of Orleans
Iolanta

Arensky:

Raphael

S Taneyev:

The Oresteia

Rachmaninov:

Francesca da Rimini
Monna Vanna (incomplete).


Ippolitov-Ivanov:

Ruth

Cui:

William Ratcliffe
Le Flibustier
Angelo
Feast in Time of Plague
Mateo Falcone

plus several others.


----


As a postscript for Hattoff, you can find an English libretto for Servilia here - http://opera.stanford.edu/iu/libretti/servilia.htm   Smiley
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christopher
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« Reply #26 on: December 04, 2017, 11:18:41 am »

I'm not sure that Russian opera is quite so insular as we might think. Clearly there was a political/cultural element in pre-revolutionary Russian music that was informed by the nationalism so popular across Europe in the nineteenth century but I also think that the success or otherwise of non-Russian/Slavic subjects in opera has been partly affected by what non-Russian audiences/musicologists think Russian music should sound like. In that respect, it has been common in the past for such works to be dismissed as anomalies or not authentic.

Just off the top of my head, I can think of these non-Russian subjects that were set to music by Russian composers, though not all have been recorded:

Dargomyzhsky:

Esmeralda
The Stone Guest

Serov:

Judith

Mussorgsky:

Salammbo

Anton Rubinstein:

Nero

(The latter perhaps most obviously in the context of this discussion, but also several others including his "sacred operas".)

Rimsky-Korsakov:

Mozart and Salieri
Servilia

Tchaikovsky:

The Maid of Orleans
Iolanta

Arensky:

Raphael

S Taneyev:

The Oresteia

Rachmaninov:

Francesca da Rimini
Monna Vanna (incomplete).


Ippolitov-Ivanov:

Ruth

Cui:

William Ratcliffe
Le Filibustier
Angelo
Feast in Time of Plague
Mateo Falcone

plus several others.


----


As a postscript for Hattoff, you can find an English libretto for Servilia here - http://opera.stanford.edu/iu/libretti/servilia.htm   Smiley


Many thanks for this Demetrius.

To your knowledge, have Ruth (Ippolitov-Ivanov), Nero (Rubinstein), or any of the Cui operas (other than Feast) been recorded?

I just found, via wikipedia, a computer (MDI) generated versison of the orchestral introduction to William Ratcliffe here:
http://www.russisches-musikarchiv.de/midi/cui_william-ratcliff-introduktion.mid
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Ratcliff_(Cui)
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Demetrius
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« Reply #27 on: December 06, 2017, 08:51:12 am »

Many thanks for this Demetrius.

To your knowledge, have Ruth (Ippolitov-Ivanov), Nero (Rubinstein), or any of the Cui operas (other than Feast) been recorded?

No, I'm afraid I've never heard of any Ippolitov-Ivanov opera being recorded. The Biblical setting  of Ruth would seem to be an ideal vehicle for him given the composer's interest in "orientalist" musical colouring. I also just found two more Ippolitov-Ivanov operas on non-Russian subjects - Ole from the Northern Land (1915/16 and set, I think, in Scandinavia) and The Last Barricade (1933, set in the Paris Commune).

There is an arrangement for radio of Cui's Puss in Boots. It was recorded and released on CD in the late 90s, IIRC, and is sung in German. Apparently, the opera became quite popular in the post-war DDR. I'm assuming it's the same version that can be heard on YouTube:



There are some other clips on that site that suggest his late childrens' operas are still occasionally revived in eastern Europe.

As for the Rubinstein, I know of no recording of Nero. There was a bootlegged recording of Christus floating around a while back but the excerpts I heard didn't encourage me to investigate further.




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Demetrius
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« Reply #28 on: December 06, 2017, 09:43:51 am »

The link to the Cui disc:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gestiefelte-Kater-Cesar-Cui/dp/349188764X/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_img_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=5TYMZV8NX9W0V1FBE2S8
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christopher
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« Reply #29 on: December 06, 2017, 02:43:59 pm »



There are some other clips on that site that suggest his late childrens' operas are still occasionally revived in eastern Europe.


On which site do you mean Demetrius?

Thanks for the Puss in Boots link!

I have the Christus "bootleg"! It's not particularly memorable tbh..
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