The Met’s Boris Godunov: RenÈ Pape sizzles, Mussorgsky’s scoring fizzles

By David Abrams [, 28 October 2010]
Listening to mostly male voices (and basses at that) delivering recitatives and monologues in Russian for four and a half hours can be enough to, well, foment a revolution. Perhaps that’s why master-orchestrator Rimsky-Korsakov twice revised Mussorgsky’s bland musical score to Boris Godunov, injecting color and fizz in an attempt to sustain musical interest throughout the lengthy epic drama.