- Petersburg, a vocal poem (on words by Alexandr Blok), for voice & piano
- Romances (6) to words by Alexandr Puskin, for voice & piano
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Sviridov's music, Pushkin's poems, the great Siberian baritone's superb singing, I cannot find better words to describe this cd. Mr. Schrott of All Music Guide said it all and said it so well. What a pleasant surprise to see Ms. Anna Barry as the producer of this remarkable cd. If you have Mr. Hvorostovsky's cds from Philips, you know Ms. Barry's works. Every detail is done nicely. Mr. Arkadiev not only provides wonderful piano accompaniments, but also writes thorough liner notes. The effort and hard work is obvious and the result is glorious. A heart-felt "thank you" to Ms. Amelia Haygood, founder and president of Delos, for making this possible. It is a precious gift for all music lovers. You owe it to yourself to get this cd.