Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: The Tale of the Invisible City of Kitezh and Maiden Fevronia

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This Arlecchino set of Rimsky-Korsakov's 1907 opera The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh is taken from an already widely distributed monophonic recording of this work made in 1956 with a cast including Ivan Petrov, Natalya Rozhdestskaya, and featuring the Moscow Radio Orchestra & Choir under Vasili Nebolsin, recorded by Radio Moscow and first issued on MK. When this Arlecchino release first appeared in the mid-'90s there was no other option on CD for this important opera, and as such it was an acceptable option at the time, if only barely so. A decade later, this recording has been made available again through the German Preiser firm in much better sound and with extra material in the form of seven of Rimsky-Korsakov's songs as sung by Ivan Petrov; the third disc in the Arlecchino set simply runs short. Not only is a viable alternative available in terms of this 1956 recording, there are others of the opera as a whole that should be preferred over this historic set in terms of getting to know Kitezh as a work. Other than being a completist in terms of collecting Rimsky-Korsakov's opera sets, in which case it is likely you will have jumped through the requisite and difficult hoops already to have obtained it, then there is no reason why anyone would want this rare, expensive, and rather dull-sounding reissue.