Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin – Best Recorded Version

The Gramophone Good CD & DVD Guide 2005 praises the recording of Eugene Onegin conducted by Semyon Bychkov with the Orchestre de Paris and the baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky on Philips: ‘[They] make the finale the tragic climax it should be; indeed the reciting of this passage is almost unbearably moving. Bychkov illuminates every detail of the composer’s wondrous scoring with pointed delicacy and playing of the utmost acuity and beauty from his own Paris orchestra.’

The Penguin Guide To Compact Discs recommends Solti’s classic recording on Decca with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra. ‘Here, for the first time, the full range of expression in this most atmospheric of operas is superbly caught, with the Decca CDs vividly capturing every subtlety, including the wonderful off-stage effects.’ Gramophone says of the same recording: ‘A polished old warhorse, conducted by Solti with superlative warmth.’ There is a film version of the opera directed by Petr Weigl that uses this famous Solti recording as the soundtrack, lip-synced by actors on location. One to check out, although it’s had mixed reviews from critics – some think it’s a powerful approach, while others are put off by the jarring blend of opera’s grand musical gestures and the realism of modern film making.


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