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Lynn René Bayley
Fanfare, September 2015

The early returns on Hvorostovsky are stunning: He really digs into the part, fencing both vocally and dramatically with Abdrazakov in “Suona ogni labbro il mio nome” and continuing his excellence into the final scene of the prologue. And it all sounds real and authentic. Even the pauses are dramatic. It’s so good, in fact, that it has the feel of a live performance, something you almost never get from a studio opera recording.

This is one of the finest commercial recordings of this opera ever made, the digital sound is wonderful, and most of it comes off with a tremendous feeling of spontaneity. I highly recommend it for those who love this work, even if you already have other performances in your collection. © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review

James A. Altena
Fanfare, September 2015

Dmitri Hvorostovsky is arguably the great Verdi baritone of his generation… That a baritone of his stature has not previously been recorded in the three great Verdi baritone title roles of Macbeth, Rigoletto, and Simon Boccanegra constitutes almost criminal neglect, and so prolonged applause and heartfelt thanks are due to Delos for its courage and wisdom in undertaking this project to honor its star “in-house” recording artist. While this catches Hvorostovsky a few years past his magnificent prime the voice and interpretation are magnificent. This is commanding, eloquent Verdi singing for the ages… © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review

Robert A Moore
American Record Guide, September 2015

…a stunning achievement. © 2015 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Judith Malafronte
Opera News, July 2015

Constantine Orbelian leads a stellar cast of Verdian interpreters in a new recording for Delos that captures the intimacy and grandeur of this difficult opera with superior sound. Reveling in the opera’s somber colors, Orbelian brings dramatic shape and fine detail to accompaniment figures and clarity to the orchestral textures, while eliciting eloquent ensemble singing and dramatic, committed performances.

…Dmitri Hvorostovsky’s authority and dramatic maturity are out in full force. By now the vocal glamour is a given, and he tears into the role’s demands, from heavily declaimed commands to gently traced lines, with consummate artistry and technical security. In the well-paced final scene, Hvorostovsky invests Boccanegra’s dying lines with eloquence and delicate, covered tones. © 2015 Opera News Read complete review

Göran Forsling
MusicWeb International, June 2015

Although [Hvorostovsky] is now a shade over fifty he has retained that initial beauty of tone and the ease of delivery. His top notes still ring out effortlessly and gloriously, just as his velvety tone in softer passages caresses the ear with undiminished freshness. Add to this his superb breath-control and his surefooted sense for musical line and we have the most beautiful reading of the role on records… © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Robert J. Farr
MusicWeb International, June 2015

…the outstanding singing comes form Ildar Abdrazakov as Fiesco, initially Boccanegra’s implacable enemy. His tonal riches, legato and expressiveness are outstanding with his singing of the recit and aria Il lacerate spirito, a vocal highlight.

On the rostrum the American pianist-conductor-composer Constantine Orbelian plays the drama of the work for all it is worth. © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Joseph Newsome
Voix des Arts, May 2015

On the podium, Constantine Orbelian presides with the assurance of one who knows and loves the score from cover to cover. He supports the singers instinctively but also neglects none of the oft-overlooked details of Verdi’s orchestrations. Particularly in the Prologue and Act One, the singing of the Kaunas State Choir is an integral component of the success of Orbelian’s approach to the score. The raw power of the choristers’ singing in the public scenes is complemented by the carefully-managed blending of voices, especially in passages in which they are heard from offstage. Orchestra and chorus collaborate with Orbelian with the naturalness of friends assembled to make music for their own enjoyment. The conductor’s tempi enable soloists, choristers, and instrumentalists alike to focus on giving of their best. The prevailing qualities of this performance, shared by conductor, orchestra, and chorus, are unforced musicality and good sense.

Hvorostovsky’s performance in Act Three is epitomized by his unexaggerated enacting of Boccanegra’s death. Here, as throughout the performance on this recording, he sings the part on his own terms. They are terms that Verdi would surely have endorsed enthusiastically. © 2015 Voix de Arts Read complete review

Stephen Smoliar, April 2015

The title role was taken by baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky, and the lead soprano was Barbara Frittoli…singing with the equally impressive bass Ildar Abdrazakov as Fiesco. Admittedly, the Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra and the Kaunas State Choir, along with conductor Constantine Orbelian, were all unknown to me; but there was never anything unsatisfying in the musical values required to sustain such a complex narrative. © 2015 Read complete review

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