KIRILL MOLCHANOV (1922-1992): The Dawns Here Are Quiet.
Catalogue Number: 07Q081
Reference: MEL CD 10 02247
Description: A combination of opera as one usually understands the term and music theatre or musical - a sequence of numbers in a tuneful, popular idiom. Based on a stirringly patriotic, sentimental novella by Boris Vasiliev, about female anti-aircraft gunners heroically laying down their lives in the Second World War to achieve a victory against overwhelming odds, with nostalgic reminiscences of pre-war life, the work is a curious blend of popular songs and choruses, the heroic cliches of film music (Molchanov wrote the score for a filmed version of the story and extracted some of the music for the opera), pastiches of baroque choral music and popular waltzes, and in orchestral interludes of dramatic intensity, the sort of thing Kabalevsky or Khachaturian did rather more consistently. As the story progresses and turns more tragic, the music adopts a more serious, operatic demeanor, producing, to 21st century western ears, an odd clash of apparently unrelated styles - but presumably in the 1970s Soviet Union it made perfect sense. The diverse idioms are all handled with great skill, and the whole is at least equal to the sum of its parts. 2 CDs. No libretto. A Eisen (bass), N Grigorieva, Olga Teryushnova (mezzos), Galina Kalinina (soprano), Choir and Orchestra of the Bolshoi Theatre; Alexander Lazarev (rec. 1976).