As promised, here’s a little audio sampling of some of the more unusual items from Ivan Kozlovsky’s discography. All of these selections are in Russian, which takes a little getting used to. I’d suggest playing these clips in this order, as you really need to experience the Rossini aria at the very end.
Kozlovsky was born on March 24, 1900, in Poltava, Ukraine. He made his professional debut as Faust at the State Theater there in 1918. By 1926, he had joined the company at the Bolshoi, where he would stay for the next 30 years. In addition to receiving the Lenin and Stalin Prizes, Kozlovsky was also made People’s Artist of the USSR in 1940. From 1938 to 1941, he ran his own opera company, producing, among other works, Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice and Massenet’s Werther, both of which he recorded. Although he retired from the stage in the mid-1950s, Kozlovsky continued to sing in concert and recital settings until 1971. In 1954, he appeared as the Simpleton in Vera Stroyeva’s film version of Boris Godunov. He died in Moscow on December 21, 1993.
Schubert – Serenade
Rachmaninov – Vocalise
Schumann – Dichterliebe – “Im wunderschönen Monat Mai”
Schumann – Dichterliebe – “Ich grolle nicht”
Planquette – Les cloches de Corneville – “Chanson du Mousse”
Rossini – Il Barbiere di Siviglia – “Ecco ridente in cielo”