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Alla Breve

July 31, 1994|WALTER PRICE

TCHAIKOVSKY: Nineteen Songs. Olga Borodina, mezzo-soprano; Larissa Gergieva, piano. Philips 442 013-2. Borodina is among the most prominent of former Soviet singers now active in the West. It is essentially a lyric voice, but not one without power. In her first solo recording available here, the gorgeous Tchaikovsky songs show her to best advantage. She has impressive range and is able to color tellingly, whether in the sustained legato of the inevitable "None But the Lonely Heart" or "It Happened in the Early Spring," the agitated "Nights of Delirium," the bright Gypsy Girl's Song and most hauntingly in the aching sadness of "Once Again, Alone." Gergieva's accompaniment is near faultless, proving that her brother Valery is not the only gifted musician in their family. No Russian texts or transliterations are provided--only stilted English translations.

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