Dargomizhsky: Russalka / Dobraceva, Kotchinian, Jurowski
Premiered at the Mariinsky Theatre in 1856, it is a lyrical work with roots in bel canto transmitted via Glinka, though there are places where Dargomyzhsky experiments with the radical realist aesthetic he was later to develop in The Stone Guest, in which his vocal writing attempts to mimic speech.
It also echoes German Romantic music – there are French influences too – through the use of melodrama, when Rusalochka (daughter of Rusalka and the Prince) speaks over the music. Recorded in Cologne with a cast steeped in the Russian idiom, this is a very welcome recording (even if the booklet includes a synopsis rather than libretto).
Evelina Dobraceva, who represented Russia at the 2007 Cardiff Singer of the World competition, sings the title with rich-toned flexibility, and Vsevolod Grivnov sings the high-lying part of her Prince with great fluency.
There are solid performances from Arutjun Kotchinian (Miller) and Marina Prudenskaya (Princess), and the score sounds compelling under the excellent baton of Michail Jurowski. Keeping it in the family, Martha Jurowski – his grand-daugther, and daughter of the conductor Vladimir Jurowski – speaks the lines of the little girl Rusalochka with charm.
-- John Allison, BBC Music Magazine
Catalog Number: PH09024
Composer: Alexander Dargomizhsky
Conductor: Michail Jurowski
Orchestra/Ensemble: Cologne West German Radio Chorus, Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra
Performer: Andrey Telegin, Arutiun Kotchinian, Elena Bryleva, Evelina Dobraceva, Marina Prudenskaja, Martha Jurowski, Vsevolod Grivnov