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Penguin Guide, January 2009

Recorded in Moscow in 1937 on 40 short-playing 78 r.p.m. discs, this historic version of Eugene Onegin on Naxos was the first complete recording of the opera ever made, and it is remarkable not just for the idiomatic warmth of the conducting—with Alexander Orlov replacing Alexander Melik-Pashev for some passages—but for the fine singing of the principals, with not a Slavonic wobbler among them. Panteleimon Nortsov in the title role sings with a firmness and clarity that is most moving, his tone rather darker than usual in this role. Elena Kruglikova is equally moving as Tatiana, even though the voice, generally warm and clear, acquires an edginess when under pressure at the top. Elizaveta Antonova sings with rich, velvet tone as Olga, and though Ivan Kozlovsky as Lensky has the nasal twang that is typical of many Russian tenors, his firmly focused expressiveness is equally compelling. The transfers of Ward Marston are astonishingly fine, firm and full bodied, an achievement the more remarkable when, in s Soviet recording made over a relatively long period, the inconsistencies of sound between the 80 original sides have so satisfying been countered and surface noise so well controlled.

Henry Fogel
Fanfare, June 2003

"Thanks to the wizardry of transfer engineer Ward Marston, this historic Onegin is now widely available and in satisfying sonic form for the very first time...both conductors take an essentially lyrical, somewhat light-textured view of the score, and they match styles perfectly. Both bring a perfect blend of lyricism and rhythmic incisiveness...Alan Blyth, writing in Opera on Records, says of Kozlovsky's singing of the great aria that it is 'phrased with such eloquence, with a feeling for Tchaikovsky's ideal matching of notes to words that a stone might be made to cry.' Perfectly put...If Eugene Onegin is an important opera for you, this recording is a necessity, and at Naxos's low price it belongs in any serious operatic collection."

David Shengold
Opera News, May 2003

"All credit to the industry of that wizard restorer, Ward Marston, for letting this highly enjoyable performance shine anew."

Scott Morrison

"This performance is a treasure and will be new to most connoisseurs of the opera. The cast is first-rate and the sound has been refurbished magnificently by wizard producer Ward Marston. As a second copy of the opera it shouldn't be passed over, particularly at the budget Naxos price."

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