The Alexander Pushkin BBC Radio Collection: Including Eugene Onegin, Boris Godunov & The Queen of Spades

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
July 2023
11 hours 49 minutes
Dramatisations and readings of Pushkin's most famous works - plus biographical programmes and an original play based on his life

One of Russia's most iconic poets, Alexander Pushkin is often described as the 'father of Russian literature'. A gambler, playboy and social reformer, he was exiled by the Tsar for his controversial poetry and died aged 37 in a duel defending his wife's honour.

This BBC Radio anthology opens with full-cast dramatisations of his two masterpieces, Eugene Onegin and The Bronze Horseman, both set against the backdrop of his turbulent life. The former, set the night before the fateful duel, sees Pushkin (Geoffrey Streitfeild) telling his wife the story of St Petersburg socialite Onegin, his best friend, and the woman who loves him. In the latter, starring Max Irons, Pushkin's epic poem symbolising the battle between Tsar and citizen is interspersed with scenes depicting his own parallel struggles with state power.

The inspiration for Rachmaninov's opera Aleko, The Gypsies is a powerful exploration in narrative verse of the conflict between freedom and love. Zemfira brings Aleko, a man running from the law, home to meet her father, but life in a gypsy camp is more challenging than he imagined. Read by Ralph Fiennes, Alex Jennings and Gabrielle Glaister.

Set during the 'Time of Troubles' in the early 1600s, Pushkin's only full-length play, Boris Godunov, is a historical drama about the Russian ruler Boris Godunov, who was Tsar from 1598 to 1605. It features a stellar cast including Alan Howard, Bill Nighy and Jane Lapotaire.

His 'little tragedy', Mozart and Salieri, tells of the rivalry between Mozart and Antonio Salieri, who was rumoured to have been behind Mozart's early death. Starring Paul Scofield as Salieri and Simon Callow as Mozart.

Also included are four superb short stories - 'The Snowstorm', starring Janet Maw and Michael Maloney, 'The Squire's Daughter', read by Hattie Morahan, 'The Queen of Spades', featuring Moira Lister, Greg Wise and Amanda Root, and 'The Golden Cockerel', read by Alec McCowen.

Finally, two bonus features chart Pushkin's extraordinary life and legacy. Soul of Fire: Alexander Pushkin 1799-1837 comprises three hours of music, drama and biography, as presenter Gerard McBurney visits the places that were formative influences on Pushkin, and introduces dramatised excerpts from his work and operatic adaptations by Tchaikovsky, Glinka and Mussorgsky. And in the original drama Cloudberries, starring Linus Roache as Pushkin, poet Elaine Feinstein tells the story of the great Russian author, from his unhappy childhood to his untimely death.

Eugene Onegin
The Bronze Horseman
The Gypsies
Boris Godunov
Mozart and Salieri
'The Snowstorm'
'The Squire's Daughter'
'The Queen of Spades'
'The Golden Cockerel'
Soul of Fire: Alexander Pushkin 1799-1837

First published 1824 (The Gypsies), 1825 (Boris Godunov), 1830 (Mozart and Salieri), 1831 ('The Snowstorm', 'The Squire's Daughter'), 1833 (Eugene Onegin, The Bronze Horseman), 1834 ('The Queen of Spades', 'The Golden Cockerel')

© 2023 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd. (P) 2023 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd
1 book added to cart
View Cart