The latest album of Poznan Philharmonic Orchestra, “Kashchey the Deathless” by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov released by DUX label, can now be purchased in good music stores.
Unknown in Poland one-act opera “Kashchey the Deathless” by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov was recorded in the concert version during the 22nd Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival in Warsaw (as part of the cycle “Unknown Operas by Well-Known Composers”) by Poznan Philharmonic Orchestra, Poznan Chamber Choir (prepared by Bartosz Michałowski) and the soloists of the Mariinsky Academy of Young Opera Singers in Petersburg (Savva Khastaev [Kashchey / tenor], Antonina Vesenina [Tsarevna / soprano], Irina Shishkova [Daughter of Kashchey / mezzosoprano], Yaroslav Petryanik [Prince Ivan – Korolevich / baritone], Mikhail Kolelishvili [Storm-Bogatyr / bass]). The piece was led by Łukasz Borowicz.
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s work is a fairy-tale opera about an evil kingdom of Kashchey, which to the people of that time seemed to be a metaphor of tsarism. Suffice it to say that its premiere performance in Moscow in 1902 incited a riot with participation of a revolutionary crowd. The effect was unintended by the composer, though it pleased his progressive heart.
The opera received a subtitle “A Little Autumn Fairy Tale”, which indicates an analogy with “The Snow Maiden” – a spring fairy tale, but clearly suggests different emotions, since the story is rather somber. Its action takes place in the kingdom of Kashchey – a repulsive old man who kidnapped and imprisoned in his palace beautiful Tsarevna, who dreams about her beloved Prince Ivan. It’s not only the old man who is standing in the way of their happiness, but also his evil daughter. After successive twists and turns, as it often happens in fairy tales, everything ends well – the wicked old man dies, the daughter of Kashchey turns into a weeping willow and the gloomy kingdom becomes a land of sun and happiness.