16 Songs, 58 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Mastered for iTunes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Mastered for iTunes
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Ratings and Reviews

KlingonOpera

Russian song enthusiasts, this is for you

Dmitri Hvorostovsky is quite simply one of the most amazing baritones performing today. In this recording of lieder by Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, and Taneyev he demonstrates not only his ability to deliver strong, powerful vocals, but sensitivity as well – he inhabits the pieces and the music just burns out of him as if it simply cannot be contained. And in the case of the Tchaikovsky works (Six Songs, Op. 73), this is quite apt indeed.

For those unfamiliar with Mussorgsky’s “Songs and Dances of Death”, the music is very demanding and full of energy, while at the same time possessing a somber, hard edge that is so very Russian it is inescapable. This is not “pretty music”, but if all you know of Mussorgsky is “Pictures at an Exhibition” then you owe it to yourself to hear these pieces. There is truth and a sense of forlorn expectation here that is palpable, and Mr. Hvorostovsky does amazing work here.

My favorites were the pieces from Taneyev, particularly “Not the wind from on high” – here Mr. Hvorostovsky shows the more sensitive and introspective side of his interpretive abilities, which in some ways is even more powerful that when he lets loose at full power. These six pieces were worth the price of the CD, and will certainly have a frequent place on my music playlist.

I must also compliment Ivari Ilja’s piano playing. Accompanying someone with as much presence and commitment as Mr. Hvorostovsky is daunting to say the least, but he really holds his own and provides a melodic base that certainly must have given Dmitri a sense of having a strong partner to make this music with. If you like Russian vocal music (sung in Russian, of course) and are open to the emotions present therein, then you will enjoy thoroughly enjoy this recording. Strongly recommended.

JennyRebSmith

Wow

Another AMAZING release from Dmitri!

SJ Reidhead

Hvorostovsky: In This Moonlit Night

Up front, I am confessed baritone junkie and a fan of Dmitri Hvorostovsky. I consider him one of the all-time great voices in opera, right up there with Sherrill Milnes, who is arguably the greatest baritone opera has ever known. This said, I was prepared to like the new CD. I was expecting it to be excellent, but not as remarkable as I discovered it to be. It is the work of the consummate artist, confident, his voice in this CD a well-tuned musical instrument. This is the work of a mature master, solid, beautiful, with a vocal range that surprised even me, and I've heard nearly everything Dmitri Hvorostovsky has recorded.

About Dmitri Hvorostovsky & Ivari Ilja

Known for captivating song recitals, lyrical performances of Verdi baritone roles, and, not least of all, his striking silver hair, Dmitri Hvorostovsky enjoyed an A-list career since he emerged in the early 1990s. His brilliant, yet deceptively dark-hued voice was the embodiment of chiaroscuro, and the combination of vocal polish and emotion that he brought to his performances made him an audience favorite.

Having grown up, studied, and debuted (as Marullo in Rigoletto) in his hometown of Krasnoyarsk, he took top honors at the 1987 Glinka National Competition, the 1988 Toulouse Singing Competition, and then the 1989 Cardiff Singer of the World competition. The last of these, in which he edged out both the meteoric Bryn Terfel and Monica Groop for the win, launched him into the spotlight and led to his western operatic debut, as Yeletsky in Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades in Nice. The next several years brought debut recitals in London and New York, his Italian debut as Eugene Onegin at the famous La Fenice, and engagements at Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera, the Chicago Lyric Opera, and the Berlin State Opera. His first solo recording contract, with Philips, began in the early 1990s, as well; the artistic and commercial success of his first several CDs, and the explosion of his operatic and concert schedule around the world, sent his career into high gear.

Although he was closely identified with the roles of Eugene Onegin and Yeletsky (The Queen of Spades), Hvorostovsky's operatic repertory was centered on Italian works more so than Russian; in the early 2000s, he began to explore new Russian territory, like Prokofiev's War and Peace, but in general he felt Russian roles call for a gruffer, less lyrical voice than his. He was known best for his performances as the elder Germont in La Traviata, Posa in Don Carlos, Don Giovanni, and Rossini's Figaro. However, as a recitalist, Hvorostovsky was always intensely focused on Russian song, making moody, dramatic works of Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Glinka, and Mussorgsky the centerpieces of his performances. With his longtime collaborator Mikhail Arkadiev at the piano, Hvorostovsky established himself as one of the finest singers of that repertory anywhere in the world. The special nature of that collaboration was honored by Russian composer Georgy Sviridov in 1995, when he dedicated his vocal poem Petersburg to Hvorostovsky and Arkadiev; the two remained champions of his music. Since the turn of the twenty-first century, Hvorostovsky devoted himself more and more to Verdi roles.

HOMETOWN
Krasnoyarsk, Russia
BORN
October 16, 1962

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