14.03.2021

Musical selection for the birthday of opera singer Vladimir Kastorsky

Vladimir Ivanovich Kastorsky was an adornment of the Imperial stage St. Petersburg. At the beginning of the 20th century, the recordings of the singer’s voice were released by “Gramophone” and “Pate” companies, and in the 1930s, - by the first Soviet recording companies Muztrest and Gramplasttrest. Gramophone records (with the emblem “Writing Cupid”) with full-sounding, flexible and having rare subtleties in phonation voice of the prominent singer, are stored in the museum Collection Musical Library. The sound of the singer's voice digitized from these gramophone records is presented in our new musical selection dedicated to Vladimir Kastorsky birthday. All gramophone records were produced in between 1905 and 1909 years.

The lyrical bass of Vladimir Kastorsky "velvet" timbre was combined with his tremendous artistry. His performances were distinguished by the highest culture, expressiveness and exquisiteness. According to the recollections of his contemporaries, he was a perfect master of bel canto. “It is difficult to imagine a better performer to convey lyrical moments of bass parts; Kastorsky has the ability to delve into the deepest feelings, into the most intimate shades of human experience, expressed by music”, wrote the famous music critic Edward Stark.

Kastorsky toured a lot - he participated in the Russian seasons of S. Diaghilev, sang in many European countries. In the 1920s, he made a large tour to the cities of Siberia, the Far East and Japan.

Opera repertoire of Kastorsky amounted 35 primary roles. Among the best characters that he created at the Mariinsky Theater were Susanin and Ruslan in the operas by Glinka, Miller in the opera “Rusalka” by A. Dargomyzhsky, Pimen in “Boris Godunov” and Dosifey in “Khovanshchina” by M. Mussorgsky, Prince Gremin in “Eugene Onegin” by P. Tchaikovsky. The singer was considered one of the best Russian performers of the Wagnerian repertoire.

After retiring from the stage, Kastorsky sang on the radio and in concerts until the very end of his life. During the Great Patriotic War, he often performed in the field for the soldiers; donated all of his savings to the Defense Fund.

For his creative work, V.I. Kastorsky was repeatedly noted with honorable awards both in pre-revolutionary times and in the Soviet period.