Moussorgsky, Boris Godunov
National Theater of Slovakia - Bratislava, 2008
Pavol Unger, 28/04/2008
A Boris Godunov Worth Waiting For
The presentation of Boris Godunov at the National Theater, originally planned for the first season in the newly completed venue, has finally been presented after a delay of one year and distinguishes itself as a production worth our having waited for.
This 1874 version of the Moussorgsky opera contains both Polish scenes as well as the final Kromy scene, such that the opera has a duration of more than four hours. The maintenance throughout the evening of both musical and dramatic intensity attests to the interpretational maturity of guest conductor Stefan Lano, who comes to Bratislava with years of international experience and, more importantly, a mastery of this complex score which is clearly the product of his profound analysis and understanding of the music. His is not a reading focused solely on the pathos inherent in the score. This was a precisely studied interpretation of exquisite nuance in which the individual atmosphere and scenic fluidity were perfectly calibrated. Lano's attention to Leitmotivic clarity, dynamics and his rational and lucid vision of the score brought forth a sound from the Orchestra of the National Theater such as we have never before heard.
S M E Journal
Michaela Mojzisova, 28/04/2008
Boris Godunov: Our Theater as Never Before
The opera, Boris Godunov has, since its first performances in 1869 and 1874, been largely popularized in the version orchestrated by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov. The National Theater ambitiously chose to present Moussorgsky's original version from 1874. With the standard cuts having been kept to a minimum, the performance lasted more than four hours. It is to the credit of guest conductor Stefan Lano that the evening did not seem inordinately long. His method of working with the orchestra, already held in high regard, was evident: a strict and rational conception of the music throughout the evening. With steady and judicious choices of tempo and a well-controlled dynamic spectrum, he guided the performance through its myriad atmospheres of pathos and majesty. This was an absolutely modern reading of Moussorgsky – in a manner of music-making such as has never before been heard in the National Theater. Bravo!