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Prokofiev: The Story of a Real Men, Op. 117

Prokofiev: The Story of a Real Men, Op. 117

Prokofiev: The Story of a Real Men, Op. 117

  • Disc number in the directory: MEL CD 1002353
  • Recorded: 1961
  • Release: 2015
   Firma Melodiya presents a unique recording of Sergei Prokofiev’s last opera The Story of a Real Man.
   This work is arguably the least known one in Prokofiev’s musical theatre legacy. Finished in 1948, it was never staged in the composer’s lifetime (its “private” performance led to banning the opera and accusing the composer of formalism). Only many years later it saw spotlights, but none of the production lasted long.
   The opera, so uncommon in terms of plotline and musical drama, seemed incredible even for an innovator like Prokofiev. The composer who had brought to the stage the characters of Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky and Bryusov was carried away with Boris Polevoy’s novel about pilot Alexei Meresiev (he lost his legs as a result of a severe injury, but at the cost of unbelievable efforts and exercising he returned to the battle ranks). The main character is shown crawling from a shot down plane, in a hospital ward and mastering his artificial limbs at hospital. The character of Alexei, a winner in his own life drama, a man of enormous fortitude who did something seemingly impossible, was an incentive for the composer’s creative imagination.
   The dramatic concept of the opera is built on a frame-like sequence of short scenes set off with moving lyrical episodes. The musical language of the opera predominantly consists of declamation and recitative and is full of songful intonations.
   The only recording of The Story of a Real Man that now exists was made by the company of the USSR Bolshoi Theatre in 1961 and conducted by young maestro Mark Ermler. The character of Alexei Meresiev became one of the highest achievements of prominent singer Evgeny Kibkalo. The recording also features other celebrated soloists of the theatre such as Glafira Deomidova, Margarita Miglau, Kira Leonova, Alexei Maslennikov, Mark Reshetin and Artur Eisen.

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  • 1
     
    The Story of a Real Men, Op. 117: Introduction "Вырос в роще дубок молодой"
    USSR Bolshoi Theatre Choir (Sergei Prokofiev)
    01:26
  • 2
     
    The Story of a Real Men, Op. 117, Act I, Scene 1: Alexei at his wrecked plane "Подшибли"
    Evgeny Kibkalo, USSR Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, Mark Ermler (Sergei Prokofiev)
    04:18
  • 3
     
    The Story of a Real Men, Op. 117, Act I, Scene 1: First Entr'acte
    Evgeny Kibkalo, USSR Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, Mark Ermler (Sergei Prokofiev)
    01:56
  • 4
     
    The Story of a Real Men, Op. 117, Act I, Scene 2: Dead field "Три дня пути, а лес все тот же"
    Evgeny Kibkalo, USSR Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, Mark Ermler (Sergei Prokofiev)
    03:31
  • 5
     
    The Story of a Real Men, Op. 117, Act I, Scene 2: Olga's song "Помнишь, милый, мы стояли рядом"
    Glafira Deomidova, USSR Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, Mark Ermler (Sergei Prokofiev)
    01:53
  • 6
     
    The Story of a Real Men, Op. 117, Act I, Scene 2: Cannonade "Артиллерия! Фронт близок"
    Evgeny Kibkalo, USSR Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, Mark Ermler (Sergei Prokofiev)
    00:55
  • 7
     
    The Story of a Real Men, Op. 117, Act I, Scene 2: Second Entr'acte
    USSR Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, Mark Ermler (Sergei Prokofiev)
    02:10
  • 8
     
    The Story of a Real Men, Op. 117, Act I, Scene 3: Scene with kids "Руки не держат"
    Evgeny Kibkalo, Alexander Suzanov, Vladimir Kurguzov, USSR Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, Mark Ermler (Sergei Prokofiev)
    02:30
  • 9
     
    The Story of a Real Men, Op. 117, Act I, Scene 3: Seryonka's story "В деревню нашу “Плавни”
    Alexander Suzanov, USSR Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, Mark Ermler (Sergei Prokofiev)
    01:15
  • 10
     
    The Story of a Real Men, Op. 117, Act I, Scene 3: " Collective farmers arrive "А вон и дедя с Федькой, глянь!"
    Alexander Suzanov, Georgy Shulpin, Margarita Miglau, Antonina Ivanova, Vera Smirnova, USSR Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, Mark Ermler (Sergei Prokofiev)
    02:38
  • 11
     
    The Story of a Real Men, Op. 117, Act I, Scene 3: Collective farmer's song "Вырос в роще дубок молодой"
    USSR Bolshoi Theatre Choir, USSR Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, Mark Ermler (Sergei Prokofiev)
    02:05
  • 12
     
    The Story of a Real Men, Op. 117, Act I, Scene 3: Third Entr'acte
    USSR Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, Mark Ermler (Sergei Prokofiev)
    02:16
  • 13
     
    The Story of a Real Men, Op. 117, Act I, Scene 4: Song for trio "Что же ты, Варенька, радость, приуныла!"
    Evgeny Kibkalo, Georgy Shulpin, Margarita Miglau, USSR Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, Mark Ermler (Sergei Prokofiev)
    04:15
  • 14
     
    The Story of a Real Men, Op. 117, Act I, Scene 4: Grandma Vasilisa's arrival "Не ест? Где там есть!"
    Evgeny Kibkalo, Margarita Miglau, Vera Smirnova, USSR Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, Mark Ermler (Sergei Prokofiev)
    02:02
  • 15
     
    The Story of a Real Men, Op. 117, Act I, Scene 4: Grandpa Mikhailo's aria "Одна утеха была ей эта птица"
    Georgy Shulpin, USSR Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, Mark Ermler (Sergei Prokofiev)
    01:30
  • 16
     
    The Story of a Real Men, Op. 117, Act I, Scene 4: Scene with an approaching plane "Варя! Слушай!"
    Evgeny Kibkalo, Antonina Ivanova, Vera Smirnova, Georgy Shulpin, Vladimir Kurguzov, USSR Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, Mark Ermler (Sergei Prokofiev)
    01:07
  • 17
     
    The Story of a Real Men, Op. 117, Act I, Scene 4: Andrei's appearance and departure "Спасибо, Серёнька, выполнил задание"
    Evgeny Kibkalo, Georgy Shulpin, Margarita Miglau, Georgy Pankov, USSR Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, Mark Ermler (Sergei Prokofiev)
    03:24
  • 18
     
    The Story of a Real Men, Op. 117, Act II, Scene 5: Alexei's ravings "Только не это!"
    Evgeny Kibkalo, Glafira Deomidova, Mark Reshetin, Leonid Maslov, Nikolai Zakharov, USSR Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, Mark Ermler (Sergei Prokofiev)
    05:57
  • 19
     
    The Story of a Real Men, Op. 117, Act II, Scene 5: Green grove "Зелёная рощица, что ж ты не цветешь?"
    Kira Leonova, USSR Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, Mark Ermler (Sergei Prokofiev)
    03:43
  • 20
     
    The Story of a Real Men, Op. 117, Act II, Scene 5: Scene of Klavdiya and Commissar "Как только терпит он такую боль?»
    Kira Leonova, Artur Eisen, USSR Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra, Mark Ermler (Sergei Prokofiev)
    01:04


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