Among major operas, Boris Godunov shares with Giuseppe Verdi's Don Carlos (1867) the distinction of having an extremely complex creative history, as well as a great wealth of alternative material. The composer created two versions—the Original Version of 1869, which was rejected for production by the Imperial Theatres, and the Revised Version of 1872, which received its first performance in 1874 in Saint Petersburg.
Boris Godunov has seldom been performed in either of the two forms left by the composer, frequently being subjected to cuts, re-composition, re-orchestration, transposition of scenes, or conflation of the original and revised versions.
Several composers, chief among them Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov and Dmitri Shostakovich, have created new editions of the opera to "correct" perceived technical weaknesses in the composer's original scores. Although these versions held the stage for decades, Mussorgsky's individual harmonic style and orchestration are now valued for their originality, and revisions by other hands have fallen out of fashion.
Boris Godunov - Nicolai Ghiaurov
Marina - Sena Jurinac
Simpleton/Shuisky - Gerhard Stoltze
Vienna State Opera Chorus
Herbert Von Karajan - conductor
LIVE in Salzburg 1966