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Roger Hecht
American Record Guide, November 2017

Naxos offers an orchestrated version of Russia Cast Adrift for mezzo, combining it with Snow Is Falling and Music for Chamber Orchestra. Mezzo Mila Shkirtil sings Russia Cast Adrift as well as Hvorostovsky, and with just as much great tone and expression. She is terrific and should be much better known. Her tone is typically Russian, dark and rich, with an open, ringing upper register. The scoring takes the mezzo quite low, and she meets the challenge, though she is no alto. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, October 2017

“Snow is Falling” (1965) begins the program on a charmingly disarming note. Sing-songy folkish playfulness (such as sometimes you can hear in Orff) wins the day with a tenderly expressive part for women’s chorus and a dreamy orchestral carpet like a blanket of new fallen snow.

“Music for Chamber Orchestra” (1964) has a decisive interlocking dialog between piano and orchestra. There is a motility that suggests a lineage going back to Shostakovich, Prokofiev and Stravinsky without the derivative musical syntax that might entail.

“Russia Adrift” (1977/2016) enjoys its recorded debut in the mezzo-soprano and orchestra version masterfully realized by Leonid Rezetdinov. It is epic and wondrously deep, with a long and ruminating opening and a heartfelt songfulness mezzo-soprano Mila Shkirtil gives to us with a perfectly artful and moving sonance. She is a wonder. Kathleen Ferrier comes to mind, yet only in association, not that the two sound alike. The orchestral part is equally apt and resonant. © 2017 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review



Richard Hanlon
MusicWeb International, October 2017

…Mila Shkirtil’s voice is full-bodied and warm, her diction is clear and she invests each song with great drama. There is tenderness and real humanity in her interpretation. I detect slight strain in some of the highest passages. But that is not to detract from her performance overall, which I found captivating and deeply convincing. Rezetdinov’s orchestration is also luminous and bright. There is a lot of tuned percussion here, in marked contrast with Stetsyuk’s arrangement, but in my estimation it is never too gaudy or attention-seeking. Indeed it adds pertinent and really attractive colour. I thoroughly enjoyed this performance and recording as well and expect to return to it often. I really think the work is strong enough to experience in both of these excellent orchestral incarnations. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Ivan Moody
Gramophone, October 2017

…I am delighted to come across this recording of an arrangement by Leonid Rezetdinov for mezzo-soprano and orchestra. It’s just as powerful as the original version: Mila Shkirtil has an expressive range every bit the equal of Hvorostovsky and the additional resonance of the ‘Russian alto’ tradition as manifest in Rachmaninov’s Vigil and Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky…

In addition, we have a beautiful three-movement ‘small cantata’ to words by Pasternak, Sneg idyot, from 1965, in which the Rimsky-Korsakov Music College Female Choir and the Boys of the St Petersburg Radio and Television Children’s Choir show their mettle, and Music for Chamber Orchestra, from a year earlier. …An important addition to the ever-increasing Sviridov discography. © 2017 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone




James Manheim
AllMusic.com, September 2017

Sviridov seems to revel in taking genres and styles that might easily become trite and making something fresh from them. …The titular song cycle is a setting of poems by Sergei Yesenin that are nationalistic in the best way, with lovely evocations of the Russian landscape and soul; the title, taken from the song of the same name, is not a political critique, but a beautiful evocation of flight. The vocal lines are deliberate and dignified, again simple and more tonal than even Shostakovich, but distinctive. There is a competing version of the song cycle by Dmitri Hvorostovsky, but this one, in an arrangement for mezzo-soprano that the conductor’s father worked on in his last days, has an attractive personal quality. © 2017 AllMusic.com Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, August 2017

Georgy Sviridov, a pupil of Shostakovich, composed in different worlds, on the one hand to please the Communist Party and on the other to express his own feelings. The edges of those two universes become somewhat blurred, as in the short cantata, Sneg idyot (Snow is Falling). Using words by Boris Pasternak which can be interpreted in different ways, and dating from 1965, it is scored for orchestra with female and children’s voices, its popular appeal doing much to make Sviridov’s name internationally popular. Otchalivshaya Rus’ (Russia Adrift) was completed twelve years later to poems by Sergey Yesenin, Sviridov steering clear of Yesenin’s more contentious writing, concentrating on poems of Russia’s beautiful landscape and mysticism. Originally for voice and piano, it is an extended work lasting around thirty minutes, and is performed in an orchestration made last year by Leonid Rezetdinov. Twelve songs that paint pictures or moods, it is immediately attractive, though I would stop short of the booklet’s assertion that it is in the same musical world as that of Shostakovich. When the music allows the mezzo soloist to demonstrate her dynamic range, Mila Shkirtil, is a most impressive voice singing in the style of famous Russian mezzos of yesteryear, with warming vibrato and a tendency to scoop to notes that must sound thrilling in dramatic opera. Music for Chamber Orchestra, contains an important part for solo piano, its style owing much to his illustrious mentor. Embracing both atonality and melodic invention, it is certainly the product of the twentieth century, its three movements—lasting around twenty minutes—a more persuasive and important testimony to Sviridov’s place in Russia’s musical history. The St. Petersburg performers are highly persuasive, in excellent sound. © 2017 David’s Review Corner



Records International, August 2017

The second orchestration in two months of Russia Adrift is coupled here with the rather craggy and angular Music of 1964 and the short, folk-like cantata of the following year. © 2017 Records International





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