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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released January 1, 2013 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - Hi-Res Audio
The "Western" and "Russian" schools of Russian music in the late 19th century are less clearly defined in the realm of art song, where composers of all stripes drew on the shapes and melodic hues of Russian folk song. An attraction of this release by Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky is the inclusion of Mussorgsky's Songs and Dances of Death in a magnificent original version for voice and piano. Those songs, beginning with their grim lullaby of a death disguised as a babysitter, are indeed darker harmonically as well as thematically than the song sets by Tchaikovsky and Taneyev, the Western-oriented composers. But they still require a certain light touch and an ability to put across a pure tune, both of which Hvorostovsky has in abundance. Performances of these songs as scaled-down opera arias are fatal, but Hvorostovsky's voice, as he enters his sixth decade, has lost none of its liquid, delicate quality, and he performs these songs with sympathy and insight. Combine it all with the precise accompaniment work of Estonian pianist Ivari Ilja and with intimate but not overbearing acoustics from the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, and you have an album worth considering for first-timers in Russian song as well as for Hvorostovsky fans and those simply attracted by his status as one of People magazine's 50 most beautiful people in the world. © TiVo
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Concertos - Released October 4, 2005 | Delos

Distinctions 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique - 9 de Classica-Répertoire
Though begun in 1975, Georgy Sviridov's vocal "poem," Petersburg, was completed specifically for Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Mikhail Arkadiev in 1995, and this recording makes it is easy to understand why. Performances of such alchemic beauty and expressive weight only come from the perfect union of music and musicians. Sviridov is the big winner in this situation. Admired and highly decorated during the Soviet era, and creator of a large and impressive body of vocal music, he is still relatively unknown to western audiences. Here, in both Petersburg and the Romances (6) of Pushkin that round out the disc, they can discover a masterful composer who infused his songs with all the lyricism and emotional immediacy of Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky while maintaining a distinctly modern voice. No two songs on the album are alike, and yet all speak with one voice. Most importantly, each one grows organically from its poem, turning the cadence of the Russian language into the seeds of melody. Hvorostovsky is at his best, both vocally and interpretively. His distinctively dark, yet brilliant, timbre, his seamless approach to line and legato, and the intensity and range of his expression bring out the best in every song. He embodies the uniquely masculine sadness that runs through so much Russian music and poetry. Arkadiev plays with the same rhythmic weight, tonal beauty, and spontaneity that he always brings to the table. This is truly a great recording, as highly recommended as possible. © TiVo
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Classical - Released September 2, 2014 | Ondine

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Concertos - Released October 4, 2005 | Delos

Hi-Res Distinctions Recommandé par Classica
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Classical - Released January 1, 1993 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 1, 2006 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Opera - Released November 10, 2017 | Delos

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Nashville is rough on the living, but she really speaks well of the dead, says a country song, and opera is the same way. Recordings by the late Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky have soared on the charts since his untimely death. Along with the superb song album Russia Cast Adrift, this one makes a suitable memorial. Hvorostovsky was never a typical Italian opera baritone, and that was what made his performances of Rigoletto over the years so well loved; they stood apart from the crowd. This version was made in Kaunas, Lithuania (in the Philharmonic Hall -- it is not a live recording), in 2016, after the baritone's diagnosis with brain cancer. Cognoscenti may grouse that at certain junctures Hvorostovsky's voice has less power than formerly (which, at his age, would have been true even without his illness), but the essential qualities that made him a great Rigoletto are on full display here. Where Western baritones sing, Hvorostovsky growls, rasps, and snarls, and the role of the exquisitely bitter jester has rarely come alive as it does here. The rest of the cast is decidedly not as strong; soprano Nadine Sierra can't decide whether Gilda should be a wounded innocent or something more substantial, and her pitches are often less than stable. Yet this is how it should be. With a star of Hvorostovsky's magnitude, the focus should be on the star, and that is where it resides. Clean accompaniment by the Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra that effectively stays out of his way is another plus. An essential for Hvorostovsky lovers. © TiVo
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Concertos - Released October 4, 2005 | Delos

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Concertos - Released October 4, 2005 | Delos

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Classical - Released October 9, 1998 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released July 22, 2011 | Delos

Dmitri Hvorostovsky's Pushkin Romances can be seen as a companion to his 2009 Delos release Tchaikovsky Romances, which also features pianist Ivari Ilja. A remarkably versatile poet, Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837) provided the source material for the vast majority of significant 19th century Russian operas, including Glinka's Ruslan and Lyudmila, Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov, Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin and The Queen of Spades, and Rimsky-Korsakov's The Golden Cockerel, as well as texts that have served as the basis for hundreds of song settings. The 17 songs Hvorostovsky sings here are the work of 10 composers and span nearly a century, from the mid-1830s to the mid-'30s. Most of the major 19th century Russian composers have works included, except for Mussorgsky, and the 20th century is represented by Nicolay Medtner and the more obscure Alexander Vlasov and Georgy Sviridov. The songs are warmly Romantic and unabashedly expressive, and those by Rimsky-Korsakov, Cui, Medtner, and Rachmaninov are especially attractive and memorable. With his large, dramatic baritone, interpretive sensitivity, and long familiarity with these songs, Hvorostovsky is the ideal interpreter for this passionate repertoire. If there is any critique of the album it's that, with a few exceptions, the songs tend to be on emotional overdrive, and taken all together they can be a little overwhelming, particularly when Hvorostovsky brings to them the expressive heat and fervor they call for. Pianist Ilja likewise pulls out all the stops and plays with dramatic intensity. Listeners might appreciate the recital best when it is taken in several smaller portions. Delos' sound is clean, warmly ambient, and very present. © TiVo
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Concertos - Released January 1, 2001 | Delos

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Classical - Released September 21, 2018 | Orfeo

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Opera - Released August 12, 2016 | Delos

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This album was recorded in October of 2015, after bass-baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky was diagnosed with brain cancer and had undergone treatment. As has been noted in reviews of live performances, the issue does not appear to have affected his voice, and he seems to be on the mend, to the relief of all. The program here, as indeed many of his live concerts have been since this event, is relatively short (53-plus minutes), and it's strong enough to make you wish for more. Hvorostovsky has specialized in Verdi roles lately, but here the repertoire is all Russian, and the singer was perhaps returning to material in which he had been trained. There are six tracks, and it's the final one, an entire 26-minute scene from Rubinstein's The Demon, with supporting singers, that really commands attention. The rest of the world has forgotten Anton Rubinstein, but not Russians, and this tale of a fallen angel in love has long been one of Hvorostovsky's specialties. The sweep and depth of this performance are remarkable. In front of that you get a scene from Prokofiev's War and Peace and four shorter Tchaikovsky excerpts, all absorbing, but the main attraction is the Rubinstein. Hvorostovsky gets strong support from the cumbersomely named State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia "Evgeny Svetlanov," under Constantine Orbelian, and the American label Delos, working in a Moscow film studio, delivers clear sound. © TiVo

Classical - Released January 1, 1994 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released November 9, 2018 | Delos

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In 2015, when his vocal maturity was allowing him to take on the big theatrical roles such as Falstaff, Scarpia, Gianni Schicchi, Rigoletto, Gremin and old Germond, our Russian baritone, stricken by an inoperable brain tumour, was forced to cancel all his big stage dates. His last public appearance was on the great gala night of May 7th 2017, thrown for the fiftieth anniversary of the Metropolitan Opera in New York's Lincoln Centre. He delighted the audience with his Cortigiani, vil razza, Rigoletto's famous soliloquy. In the belief that the best medicine was to carry on singing, Dmitri Hvorostovsky worked at his art every day, dreaming of being able to return to the stage. Sadly this dream was taken away from him on 22 November 2017. Blessed from birth with a beautiful voice and good looks, Dmitri Hvorostovsky learned early on how to put these gifts to work, becoming one of the great baritones of recent years. From his international debuts in 1989 his tall figure became a fixture on the great operatic stages of the world. Conceived as a memorial album to mark a year since the early death that shook all lovers of great voices, this new work is a compilation of ten different albums that showcase the full extent of Dmitri Hvorostovsky's talent, from the Russian folk songs that he loved from his youth all the way to his great operatic roles. It's an opportunity to carefully listen again and really take measure of the gaping hole that he has left in the world of lyrical art. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released July 22, 2011 | Delos

Classical - Released September 2, 1996 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released June 9, 2017 | Delos

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When taken literally, the title Russia Cast Adrift can sound like a vast endeavour for this “vocal poem” by Russian, Soviet and then Russian again composer Georgy Sviridov (1915-1998), a work both glittering and dark, initially written in 1956 for tenor and piano. Dmitri Hvorostovsky, who knew the composer well, was aware of the fact that he had expressed the wish to direct his work, but ran out of time and then… Here is an orchestration by Evgeny Stetsyuk, for whom it is a world premiere recording. Not limiting himself to a “normal” orchestra, Stetsyuk added a Russian traditional music ensemble, with instruments such as the domra (a sort of very ancient mandolin), the balalaika (which everyone knows), the bayan – the ultimate Russian accordion – and the gusli, a psaltery dating back to the Middle Age. Sviridov, a fierce defender of Russian music, was deeply inspired in his work by tradition, in the way it was developed by Mussorgsky for instance, without giving unduly influence to his professor Shostakovich, and even less to the various currents of 20th-century Russia. A “simple” but never simplistic music, deeply moving, strongly defended by Hvorostovsky with undeniable admiration for the composer. Let us hope this album will give the composer an international exposure, as he’s been so far mostly restricted to Russian-speaking spheres. © SM/Qobuz

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Dmitri Hvorostovsky in the magazine