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Hvorostovsky In Moscow

Verdi / Gounod / Philharmonia Of Russia
Release Date: 02/28/2012 
Label:  Delos   Catalog #: 7006  
Composer:  Charles GounodGiuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Dmitri HvorostovskySondra Radvanovsky
Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia of Russia
Number of Discs: 1 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews



VERDI Ernani: “Gran Dio!” Don Carlos: “O Carlo, ascolta.” Un ballo in maschera: “Morró, ma prima in grazia ... Eri tu.” Il trovatore: “Udiste? Come albeggi.” GOUNOD Faust: “Avant de quitter ces lieux” Dmitri Hvorostovsky (bar); Sondra Radvanovsky (sop); Constantine Read more Orbelian, cond; Philharmonia of Russia DELOS DV 7006 (DVD: 45:00) Live: Moscow 06/2008


For some years now, the famed Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorstovsky has staged a series of concerts in Moscow titled Hvorostovsky and Friends , with guest artists such as Renée Fleming and Sumi Jo. This 2008 outing, the first-ever collaboration between Hvorostovsky and soprano Sondra Radvanovsky, was recorded by Delos for a commercially released CD titled Verdi Opera Scenes . Sometime afterward, Delos obtained the film footage from the live Russian television transmission and had it synchronized with the commercial soundtrack to produce this DVD.


As can be inferred from the short timing, this is more of a promotional item for Dmitri Hvorostovsky than a full-scale commercial release. The technical results are better than one might expect from how this composite was created, though occasionally the visual portion betrays its reprocessing with momentary, fleeting appearances of pixilation and image freezing, and there is a decidedly evident change in tint a minute or so into the Un ballo excerpt. Following each item sung by Hvorostovsky, adoring audience members come forward to present bouquets of flowers. These interruptions reduce the actual musical content to only about 30 minutes. Radvanovsky appears in only two items, the scenes from Un ballo and Il trovatore . The release advertises as a “bonus” an “interview” with conductor Constantine Orbelian (an American pianist who has lived in Russia), which lasts all of about one minute. Also included are brief excerpts from 16 different Delos CDs featuring Hvorostovsky, Radvanovsky, and/or Orbelian and the Philharmonia in various combinations and repertoire.


The singing itself is top-notch. Admittedly, Hvorostovsky is a bit dry of voice in the first two numbers; he no longer has the sheer vocal refulgence of his glorious youthful prime, and the character of Rodrigo in Don Carlos is not ideal casting for him. That said, he is still at this point in his career the greatest Verdi baritone (and greatest Valentin from Faust ) in the world, and by the time Radvanovsky joins him for the Ballo excerpt he is fully warmed up—ringing in voice, passionate in interpretation, and as always dashingly handsome in appearance. For her part, Radvanovsky—to my mind currently the greatest Verdi soprano before the public—is at least Hvorostovsky’s equal and arguably his superior, almost stealing the show from him. In stark contrast to the curiously mechanical recital of Verdi arias she recently recorded with Orbelian for Delos (negatively reviewed by me in Fanfare 34:2; see the review by Lynn René Bayley in 34:1 for a completely opposite opinion), here she is totally engaged, singing and also acting with almost overwhelming emotional intensity. With singing this great, it positively hurts to have so little of it, and not even the mediocre hackwork of Orbelian on the podium can detract from the occasion. Despite the extremely short timing, for fans of either singer this DVD is easily worth its $16 price, to remind one’s self that while golden-age Verdian voices are currently rarer than hen’s teeth, they are not extinct.


FANFARE: James A. Altena
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Works on This Recording

1.
Faust: Avant de quitter ces lieux by Charles Gounod
Performer:  Dmitri Hvorostovsky (Baritone)
Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia of Russia
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; France 
2.
Il trovatore: Udiste? come albeggi, la scure al figlio by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Dmitri Hvorostovsky (Baritone), Sondra Radvanovsky (Soprano)
Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia of Russia
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
3.
Un ballo in maschera: Morrò, ma prima in grazia by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Dmitri Hvorostovsky (Baritone), Sondra Radvanovsky (Soprano)
Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia of Russia
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; Italy 
4.
Don Carlos: O Carlo, ascolta by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Dmitri Hvorostovsky (Baritone)
Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia of Russia
Period: Romantic 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  2 Customer Reviews )
 Rich Voices May 14, 2012 By S. Kowal (Boston,, MA) See All My Reviews "Since hearing him live in Boston years ago, I feel only his voice and acting have matured which makes him a leading singer today. Radanovsky is pleasure to hear. I wish she sang in Boston and New York more or maybe I miss it. The DVD is too short, more numbers of both would be appropriate and less audience and the flower giving could use an edit, even if this is live. " Report Abuse
 Feel the chemistry between these 2 singers April 2, 2012 By William B. (Fairfax Station, VA) See All My Reviews "Overall a very satisfying concert with both singers taking solos and a few duets. Video quality is good, but direction is fairly pedestrian. A must for fans of Hvorostovsky and those who saw them tour the US a few years ago. Only disappointment was the length of the video which appeared to have orchestral pieces edited out. Extra material was not very enlightening. " Report Abuse
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