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Khovanshchina (1979) Online

Khovanshchina (1979) Online
Original Title :
Genre :
Movie / Music
Year :
Cast :
Yevgeni Nesterenko,Irina Arkhipova,Evgeny Raikov
Type :
Time :
2h 52min
Rating :
Khovanshchina (1979) Online

Khovanshchina is an opera in 5 acts by Mussorgsky, completed and orchestrated by Rimsky-Korsakov. Libretto by composer Vladimir Stasov. First performed in St. Petersburg on February 21st, 1886. This is the also the ONLY full-length performance of Mussorgsky's opera. Conductor Yuri Simonov conducts the acclaimed Bolshoi Chorus in this program.
Credited cast:
Yevgeni Nesterenko Yevgeni Nesterenko - Dosifei
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Irina Arkhipova Irina Arkhipova - Marfa
Evgeny Raikov Evgeny Raikov - Prince Galitsyn
Vladislav Romanovsky Vladislav Romanovsky - Shaklovity
Yuri Simonov Yuri Simonov - Himself - Conductor
Aleksandr Vedernikov Aleksandr Vedernikov - Khovansky

User reviews



This is one of the two best videos of a stage performance of this work.(The other one being the 1991 performance by the Kirov Opera,which essentially uses the same staging,sets,and costumes,while changing the performers.)The singers are all stellar. Nesterenko as Dosifei is much more striking than his counterpart in the later production.(This is not intended at all to reflect badly on that gentleman,whose name escapes me at the moment.It's just that Nesterenko is every so much more legendary.)And Vedvernikov,as Prince Ivan Khovansky,IS much more memorable than his counterpart in the Kirov showing.

Some of the cuts DO,however,bother me.They cut out the peasants's chorus in this showing.And Kirov DID handle the immolation of the Old Believers at the end ever so much better.

What really irks me is the way they(and Kirov as well) muff the assassination of Prince Ivan.The stage directions specifically state that the evil Boyar Shaklovity,after flattering and duping the boorish Prince Ivan into preparing to leave for the Council meeting,draws his dagger,and plunges it into Ivan's back.The current Metropolitan Opera production does it even better.As Ivan strides to the door,Shaklovity signals one of Ivan's OWN servants,who draws a pistol and shoots him.This gives a picture of not only a lurid conspiracy,but also of a police state,with spies everywhere.They're even in our own household.

So what happens here?Ivan strides to the door,and some anonymous gremlin(not literally)pops out of nowhere,and stabs him.GIVE ME A BREAK!

The guy is a popular,(albeit boorish and also feared military) leader,living in his own house,with servants and undoubtedly soldiers all around him.How would this goblin manage to get past the sentries are just the right moment?Not at all well done!


Khovanshchina was a relatively new discovery for me, and what a discovery it was. The opera may lack the tightness in the story of Boris Godunov, though it is still a memorable story, however the characters are compelling and the music is every bit as beautiful, as haunting and as thrilling.

This production is excellent, likewise with the 1989 production with Ghiaurov, Atlantov and Kotcherga. The sets are great especially those for act 3 and the costumes are nothing short of magnificent. The sound is mostly good if muffled at times likewise with the picture quality. The camera angles are very interesting.

Staging is mostly fine, though the final scene while very interesting could have done with more drama and was a little too short. Also I don't think I have yet seen a Khovanshchina that does a good job with Ivan's assassination, I found it rather clumsy here.

I can't find flaws with the orchestra who play with just the right tone and so on, and the conducting is fresh and charismatic. The performances are wonderful. For me the standouts were Euvgeny Nesterenko's Dosefei and Irina Arkhipova's Marfa, Nesterenko still has his powerful basso voice and magnetic stage presence and Arkhipova is dignified and vocally mellow. Aleksandr Verdernikov is excellent as Ivan, on par with Ghiaurov I'd say, and while Vladislav Romanovsky is not quite as powerful as Kotcherga as Shaklovity vocally, he is still very menacing.

Overall, excellent. 9/10 Bethany Cox