Rimsky-Korsakov - The Golden Cockerel (DVD + Blu-ray)
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Cat No: MAR0596
Format: DVD + Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2
Release Date: 26th May 2017
Mariinsky Orchestra & Chorus
For much of the 20th century, Rimsky-Korsakov’s operatic work was largely ignored in the west and he was better-known for editing major works by Mussorgsky. Completed in 1907, just after the Russo-Japanese war, the opera’s depiction of a witless Tsar meant it was initially banned and Rimsky-Korsakov never saw it performed. Finally staged in 1909, it received its first performance at the Mariinsky in 1919.
Based on a text by Alexander Pushkin, with libretto by Vladimir Belsky, the opera begins with The Astrologer, who introduces himself as the director of the story, a moral tale, through a fantastical kingdom. King Dodon, once a great warrior, is now old and tired. However, his sons (Andrei Ilyushinkov and Vladislav Sulimsky) have not inherited his talent for warfare and his kingdom is now under threat. To aid the King, the Astrologer brings a cockerel, whose cries, he says, will warn of any attack. In gratitude, Dodon offers him one wish, which he decides to hold on to until later. Soon after the cockerel crows and Dodon sends his sons to battle. Following on behind them, he finds them slain and his army defeated. Dawn breaks and a despairing Dodon is greeted by a mysterious figure, the beautiful Queen of Shemakha.
She seduces Dodon and they return to his kingdom, with her as his consort. Seizing this moment, the Astrologer decides to now is the time to use his wish, demanding Dodon hand over the Queen for himself. Furious, the Kings slays the Astrologer, but is then pecked to death by the Cockerel. Finally, the Queen and Cockerel both disappear, leaving behind chaos. Returning in an epilogue, the Astrologer finally explains that all the characters were imaginary, save for himself and the Queen.
"Valery Gergiev’s ongoing Rimsky-Korsakov series is simply the most important thing happening in the world of opera today, promising revelations on a par with Philips’ previous explorations of Haydn and early Verdi, or Decca’s fabled Janácek cycle... It’s a legacy very much worth getting to know." - Classicstoday.com
Blu-ray + DVD (double play)
Duration: 118m 54s
BD50 (REGION 0), 16:9, HD 1080i (NTSC)
DVD9 (REGION 0), 16:9 (NTSC)
2.0 PCM Stereo
24Bit 48kHz PCM
Notes: EN, FR, GE, RU
Subtitles: RU, EN, FR, GE, ES, JP
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