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Opera may not have been of central importance to Sergei Rachmaninoff’s long and diverse creative life, but if one looks at the early years of his professional career a very different picture emerges. Aleko premiered at the Bolshoi on April 27, 1893, and began as a composition assignment. While at the Moscow Conservatory, the nineteen-year old Rachmaninoff composed and orchestrated the entire opera in a twenty-four hour firestorm of energy. The opera, based on Pushkin’s tale of love and murder, The Gypsies, received the grade of 5+ (A+) and also the Great Gold Medal. Delos’ complete recording of the opera features four star soloists, Constantine Orbelian and the Moscow Chamber Orchestra and a unique value-added spoken word companion disc with Michael York and Russian actor Vassily Lanovoy. A Virtual Reality (VR2) Recording 2-for-1 priced 2-cd set
ALEKO Based on Pushkin’s “The Gypsies”
THE GYPSIES Complete poem by Alexander Pushkin Read in English by Michael York Read in Russian by Vassily Lanovoy